IECD Doctoral Concentrations

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IECD PhD Concentrations

IECD students should declare any concentrations early on in their program and plan their coursework accordingly. For information on the ELC/HOD concentrations available to IECD students on the Fall 2016 catalog or later, see:​ For information on the Profectum agreement, see:

Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationships (DIR®) Concentration

The IECD program concentration is informed by the Developmental-Individual Differences Relationship-based (DIR®) framework for a relationship-based approach to supporting children and families:

  • D (Developmental) defines the fundamental capacities for joint attention and regulation, engagement across a wide range of emotions, two-way communication, and complex social problem-solving. These in turn govern the development of symbol formation, language, and intelligence.
  • I  (Individual Differences) refers to individual differences related to sensory reactivity and regulation, visual-spatial and auditory/language processing, and purposeful movement and communication.
  • R (Relationships) refers to relationships with caregivers that are the vehicle for affect-based developmentally appropriate interactions. Parents and families are central to this model because of their ongoing opportunities to support their child’s everyday functioning to carry out emotionally meaningful goals based on developmental levels. Cultural and environmental influences are also considered.

The DIR® three-course series is designed to teach students the theory of relationship-based practice using the DIR® framework.  Students move through theory, assessment, and intervention approaches designed to serve children with neurodiversity, such as autism, emotional and sensory regulation challenges, and developmental delays, and their families. 


  • IECD-580 Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship (DIR®) Theory and Practice, 4 semester credits
  • IECD-601 Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship (DIR®): Intervention I, 4 semester credits
  • IECD-602 Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship (DIR®): Intervention II, 4 semester credit

Reflective Practice/Supervision Concentration

The doctoral concentration in Reflective Practice/Supervision is designed to teach students the theory of reflective practice/supervision and how to apply it to their professional work experiences in clinical, educational, administrative, or organizational systems.


  • IECD-575 Introduction to Reflective Practice/Supervision, 4 semester credits
  • IECD-581 Reflective Practice/Supervision, 4 semester credits
  • IECD-582 Advanced Reflective Practice/Supervision, 4 semester credits

Concentrations available from the School of Leadership Studies:

  • Community College Leadership for Change (CCLC)
  • Creative Longevity and Wisdom (CLW)
  • Dual Language (DL)
  • Evidence Based Coaching (EBC)
  • Inclusive Leadership for Social Justice (ILSJ)
  • Leadership for Social and Ecological Sustainability (LSES)
  • Leadership of Higher Education Systems (LHES)
  • Media, Technology and Innovation (MTI)
  • Organization Development (ORGD)
  • Somatics, Phenomenology and Communicative Leadership (SPCL)
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