Person-Centered Approaches in Schools and Transition


The PCAST project is a collaboration between The New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education, in partnership with The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. The project has been built on a foundation of respect, trust, and partnership with educators, families, and students working together to provide holistic person-centered supports for students in both primary and secondary education (3-21). All person-centered approaches involve a continuous process of discovery that engages educators, students, and their families. The primary goal is to develop a deep understanding of each student and support their personal vision for a positive future. This enables teams to collaboratively design positive and respectful support strategies to use daily.


Project activities include broad availability of statewide training for both educators and family members. Topic areas include person-centered planning and implementation and its application to the IEP process and group approaches in classrooms. Project staff also provide more intensive training and support to an annual cohort of school districts that have committed to exploring and embedding these practices over time. To learn more about the existing trainings and qualifications to participate, please contact,,, or

Technical Assistance

The PCAST Project uses a tiered system of support to provide broad state-wide training, short-term assistance to select schools upon request, and intensive support to schools that have been accepted into an annual project cohort. Additionally, the project utilizes a community of practice model that connects educators and families to promote the sharing of experiences and ongoing learning. For more information, contact the PCAST Team:,,, or