The Master IEP Coach Mentorship with Catherine Whitcher has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I started the program as a way to educate myself as a parent so that I could participate in the IEP development process for my two kids as best as possible. I went through the 8-week program with this as my plan and I soaked up all the lessons from the perspective of a parent, knowing that many others in my cohort planned to make it a business.
Little did I know, it would become the greatest part of my own business. The Master IEP Coach Mentorship is open for enrollment now and I want to answer the most frequent questions I have been asked by friends considering it.
- Do I REALLY have time to commit to this? Let me go ahead and share my experience with you. My mentorship began in February of this year, which was one of the most medically stressful months of 2019. Our Rosie had a hospital stay and a new diagnosis that month and I was not emotionally or mentally available to “keep up” in the course. HERE’S THE THING. That was completely okay. I did what I could, stayed engaged in the course community as best as possible, but I didn’t sweat it because with the mentorship, you keep ALL the course materials and resources forever. The three-or-so hours per week of the course is doable for most people, but you’d be surprised how many skip a week or play catch up or binge the whole thing at the end (that was me). It’s a very forgiving system and there is no penalty for not doing each video on a specific day.
- Is the financial investment worth it? Like I said, I wasn’t planning on making IEP work part of my business. I thought the investment would give me the most comprehensive training possible to come to the IEP table prepared to advocate for my kids. I can honestly say that this would’ve been worth the investment in knowledge, precisely because I will stay up-to-date on the special education conversation nationwide. Catherine is always offering new tips and tricks that I use as a parent and the new videos in the course are mine to keep. When I DID decide to take the leap into the business side of things, I quickly learned the basics in the IEP Coach Network (which I’ll explain in the next question). Once I got my IEP coaching page on my website, I had a few local clients and made back my investment within a couple of weeks.
- What’s the IEP Coach Network? The Network is a group of coaches who continue to be coached by Catherine in an ongoing capacity. We share business tips, education knowledge, and encouragement to one another. Lots of people ask if this is kind of like being friends with our competition, but I don’t think any of us sees it that way. We are committed to changing special education for the better. We are generous with our knowledge and resources and help one another in situations when it’s needed. I can say that without the network, my business couldn’t thrive because I couldn’t confidently address all the needs of my clients. I’ve even seen coaches collaborate to help clients in-person who are across the country from their original coach. We very much have an abundance mindset and it’s an incredible community.
- Who is the instructor? Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed. is the mentor to us all in the program. Not only did she spend 20 years in special education in the teacher role, she has a broth with Down syndrome, so she understands the struggles of families like mine. She fosters a collaborative approach to improving the IEP. Literally everything I know and use in my business, I learned from her. Her methods are the most effective way to create positive change for our kids and our world. I believe wholeheartedly in the way she approaches special education and I am honored to be her mentee. All that to say, she’s the real deal and has seen the system through many changes over the years. She’s the only person I trust to advise me in my business.
- What’s the difference between a Master IEP Coach and an advocate? This is a tough question to answer, but I’ll offer my take. The truth is, advocate is a very general term for what we’re all doing when we’re attempting to help unique kids access their education. We’re advocating for good change. Master IEP Coach is the term for s person who has gone through this exact training, which I believe to be the most effective, comprehensive training you can get in the world of special education advocacy, regardless of your position at the table. Furthermore, the coaching program offers you forever access to the information and all its updates, so if something changes and you want help understanding it, you’ll have the course materials to help you. This is not something any other advocacy training can offer you.
- Can’t I learn all this stuff on my own? Definitely not. In theory, you could spend several hours researching policy, verbiage, and the needs of nation-wide special education reform. But first of all, YUCK! That’s lots of time guessing and checking sources to make sure it’s up to date and reliable. However the additional training for developing your business cannot be found anywhere. Not only does Catherine know the ins and outs of the special education system, she understands how to teach us to run successful local and online businesses to serve our community and support our families. This is something you can find nowhere else.
- ’m not a parent. Is the Mentorship for me? YES. There are parents, educators, therapists, and other specialists in the mentorship. If you sit an IEP table, you belong in the mentorship. I, personally, want MORE non parents to become part of the mentorship. It gives us a well-rounded approach to making meaningful change.
- How many Master IEP Coaches are there? You know, I’m not really sure! Here is a link to a page where we all have our bios. Like I said, we’re all over the country.
Have more questions about the Master IEP Coach Mentorship? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on any social media platforms.
Ready to become a Master IEP Coach? Sign up here.