About TCIT

Teacher-Child Interaction Training – Universal (TCIT – U) is a professional development, train-the-trainer-model, designed to strengthen teacher-child relationship skills.

  • Adapted from Dr. Sheila Eyberg’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) , an evidence-based treatment for children aged 2-7 years with disruptive behavior.
  • Incorporates the core principles and goals of PCIT while attending to the unique dynamics of the classroom.
  • Application for the whole classroom, including both teachers and classroom support staff.
  • Has shown promise as a universal intervention model for mainstream students and those with IEPs in childcare, pre-school and early elementary classrooms.
  • Focuses on strengthening the development of all children in the classroom, including those with special needs and those not yet identified as in need of intervention.


What you will learn

A. The background, underlying theory, and components of TCIT-U

B. Methods of measuring teacher and child skill acquisition

C. Evidenced-based strategies for building positive teacher-child relationships

D. Research-grounded techniques for addressing disruptive and attention-seeking behaviors

E. Manualized approach to delivering TCIT-U, including didactic instruction and in vivo coaching of teachers interacting with children

F. Procedures for individualizing skill use to meet behavior goals for students with special needs

Our Training Approach

TCIT-U’s Train-the-Trainer approach prepares education and mental health professionals to implement TCIT-U independently in schools and childcare settings. Watch this snapshot of TCIT-U training in action:


The role play was very helpful. It helped me see the value of TCIT.”


Program Developers

buddKaren S. Budd, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita of Psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and former director of the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Program at DePaul’s Family and Community Services. In 2006, Budd began piloting Teacher-Child Interaction Training – Universal (TCIT-U) as an adaptation of PCIT for use by teachers in early childhood settings. Budd has coauthored several studies of TCIT-U showing its promise as a prevention model. Since 2014, she has partnered with David Stern to provide professional training and consultation on TCIT-U to school practitioners and mental health providers in several states.


stearnDavid Stern, LICSW, retired in 2014 from a career as Behavioral Health Coordinator for Alexandria Public Schools in Alexandria, MN. Stern developed programs to close the achievement gap for at-risk students, identify remedial services for children with special needs, and support teachers in addressing both academic and social-emotional needs of early learners. In 2009, Stern received training in TCIT-U from Budd and has since trained over 400 early childhood and primary grade teachers in TCIT-U. Stern and Budd now are expanding the reach of TCIT-U through their professional training and consultation partnership.


Contact Us

LearnVentures LLC

David Stern, LICSW

Karen S. Budd, Ph.D.