Communication Disorders Alumna receives grant for Mentoring Model

Dr. Emily Lakey
Dr. Emily Lakey


FSU alumna Emily Lakey, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, recently received a $185,596 grant from the Iowa Department of Education to support a statewide professional development initiative to increase early intervention providers’ use of family centered practices in natural environments using the Distance Mentoring Model (DMM). 

Dr. Lakey currently works as a Research Associate in the Communication and Early Childhood Research and Practice Center (CEC-RAP) at Florida State University.  Lakey received her BA (’04) from the University of Massachusetts, and her MS (’06) and PhD (’12) from Florida State.

According to Dr Lakey, “This is an exciting opportunity to work with stakeholders across the state to increase the quality of services for young children with disabilities and their families in Iowa. DMM will integrate the use of technology for statewide collaboration and to support performance-based feedback using video conferencecoaching to help early childhood professionals make meaningful changes in their practice. This project will also provide “real-world” learning experiences for our undergraduate volunteers and research assistants at CEC-RAP as they participate in all aspects of the project including product development and video coding. After several months of planning and preparing we are looking forward to the official roll-out of the project this month!”

The grant (Iowa Distance Mentoring Model for Early ACCESS (IA DMM)) is a collaborative project between the Iowa Department of Education and Florida State University.  Local, state and national personnel are joining together to design, implement and evaluate an innovative personnel development approach to improve outcomes for young children and their families.

The Distance Mentoring Model (DMM) promotes the implementation of family guided routines based intervention (FGRBI) for families of children eligible for Part C services and supports. Incorporating evidence-based practices for professional development with technology strategies and supports, DMM engages early intervention providers, service coordinators and program administrators in a systematic change process to increase the use of recommended practices with children and families.

Iowa Dept of Education has the option of renewing the contract on an annual basis for the next four years within the period between 10/1/2013 and 9/30/2017 for a maximum award of $916,481.

For more information about the Communication and Early Childhood Research and Practice Center  visit: