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New Task Force to Study Clinical Preparation of Special Education Teachers

We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new AACTE task force to study how to improve the preparation of special education teachers through clinical practice. Growing out of the work of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC), the AACTE Special Education Task Force held its inaugural meeting October 1-2 in Washington, DC.

The task force is charged with applying the CPC frameworks for clinical educator preparation to the particular needs of developing special education teachers. During this week’s meeting, the group began outlining the scope of its work, which is supported by a grant from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center. The task force will study areas such as dual licensure and dual preparation models, pipeline strategies around recruitment and retention, interdisciplinary collaboration, and other factors pertinent to this specialized preparation. They ultimately plan to identify models and develop recommendations to amplify promising practices, establish continuous improvement benchmarks, and provide guidance for the field.

The group consists of selected members of the CPC along with representatives from CEEDAR states:

  • Debbie Reed (Cochair), University of North Florida
  • Rene Roselle (Cochair), University of Connecticut
  • Michael Alfano, Central Connecticut State University
  • Brian Barber, Kent State University (OH)
  • Cecilia Batolo, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Amber Benedict, University of Florida
  • Valeisha Ellis, Spelman College (GA)
  • Tammy Ellis-Robinson, State University of New York at Albany
  • Kelly Jewel-Glasscock, Troy University
  • Karmen Kelly, Colorado State University
  • Cara Richards-Tudor, California State University, Long Beach
  • Cindy Stunkard, Kutztown University (PA)

The task force will be supported by AACTE staff including Rod Lucero, Tim Finklea, and Amanda Lester.

This new effort presents an opportunity for experts in special education teacher development to look deeply into the field’s needs and delivery. As might be imagined, this task force has taken on a heavy lift, but one that is well worth the effort as they work toward recommendations that can have a high impact for teacher preparation programs working in the special education space.

In the coming months, AACTE also plans to issue a competitive call for proposals around a new Networked Improvement Community for AACTE members focused on the preparation of special education teachers. The new task force has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity as these plans take shape.

Look for an update from the task force at the 2018 AACTE Annual Meeting in Baltimore!


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Rodrick Lucero

Vice President for Member Engagement and Support

Amanda Lester

Associate Director for Member Engagement and Support, AACTE

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