Regional Collaborative Networks (RCN)

Creating a Sustainable Structure of Support for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders within each Region of Michigan

Regional Collaborative Networks (RCN) are groups of school professionals, parent representatives, and community partners supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a particular region in Michigan.  The RCN receive support through the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START), a grant funded by the Michigan Department of Education. Each year, RCN work on priorities established through the RCN contract, funded by START, to address needs in the areas of professional development; coaching for implementation of evidence-based practices that promote independence, engagement, social opportunities, and integration; family collaboration and engagement; and preparation for transition to a post-school life with many opportunities.   By collaborating with stakeholders in their area and linking with the START project, RCN offer information, training, and resources that are locally accessible and meet the needs defined in that region of the state.

Key Components of Regional Collaborative Networks

  • Shared mission, philosophy, and goals consistent with start
  • Connections and collaborations with families and regional stakeholders
  • Focus on the use of evidence-based practices
  • Training and coaching that to leads to implementation of practices that directly support students
  • Information and resource accessibility

Key Responsibilities in Regional Collaborative Networks

  • Define, implement, and evaluate annual goals based on the RCN contract priorities and identified needs of the region
  • Ensure RCN membership of relevant school professionals, parents, and community partners is representative of the region and its needs
  • Meet monthly as an RCN to address defined goals and activities and ensure implementation of planned activities (see RCN Pacing Guide)
  • Develop plans of action to support defined goals and priorities
  • Send representatives to the START RCN Leadership Meeting twice per year
  • Report progress toward annual goals and priorities twice per year (Mid year and end of year)


Page last modified November 9, 2017