Heartland Equity and Inclusion Project (HEIP)

HEIP offers knowledge, skills and dispositions to paraprofessionals to support the diverse development and learning of young children and their families in high-quality, inclusive classroom communities.

The Heartland Equity and Inclusion Project (HEIP) was a five-year project undertaken by the Early Childhood Education Department at Heartland Community College and funded by the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The project addresses the lack of blended community college paraprofessional programs that prepare students to support the development and learning of each and every child.

Learn more about HEIP.

Seven Core Courses

Seven core courses in Heartland's early childhood education curriculum were redesigned to create a fully blended curriculum that prepares practitioners to support the development and learning of children who are culturally, linguistically and ability-diverse.

View the core courses.

Information for Faculty

View the faculty site for:

  • Project syllabi with sample assignments, resources and rubrics for the seven core courses.
  • Resources supporting faculty knowledge of children and families who are culturally, linguistically and ability-diverse.
  • Quality Inclusive Practices Checklist to assess quality inclusive practices within early childhood environments.
  • Video library of clips that support concepts taught in the seven core courses.
  • Parent Resource Pages for working with families who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse.

Information for Paraprofessionals

View the paraprofessional site for:

  • Resources supporting paraprofessional knowledge of children and families who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse.
  • Resources pertaining to the paraprofessional role, needed skills and professional development.

Information for Practitioners

View the practitioners site for:

  • Resources supporting practitioners knowledge of children and families who are culturally, linguistically and abilitydiverse.
  • Parent Resource Pages for working with families who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse.
  • Quality Inclusive Practices Checklist to assess quality inclusive practices within early childhood environments.

Information for Family

View the family site for:

  • Resources for families of children with special needs including information on the role of the family, developmental concerns, and the types of services available for children in early intervention and early childhood.

Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746

Email: johnna.darragh@heartland.edu