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Recruiting Special Education Teachers Takes New Form at UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte - Cato College of EducationAACTE member institution University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) Cato College of Education is working to address the shortage of special education teachers through a new recruitment initiative.  Its department of special education and child development received a grant to produce a video to recruit future special educators to the university. Led by Christopher O’Brien, associate professor and special education undergraduate program director, the production features faculty, students, and alumni of the special education teacher preparation program.

The special education program at UNC Charlotte’s Cato College of Education prepares teacher candidates to

  • advocate for individuals with special needs
  • develop parent, professional, and community partnerships
  • implement systematic instruction and curricular decision-making
  • understand and respond to the individual needs of diverse learners
  • assure competence in assessment, instruction, and research-validated practices
  • promote self-determination to enhance outcomes for young adults with special needs
  • sustain professional and ethical practice
  • reflect on one’s practice to guide life-long professional development

“We are proud of our students and want to not just maintain a high standard in teacher preparation but continue to improve upon the instruction and guidance we provide for the next generation of special educators,” said Kristen Beach, UNC Charlotte assistant professor of special education, who is highlighted in the video.

The video explains why an aspiring college student should be inspired to pursue a career as a special educator serving the needs of children with disabilities and presents the diverse range of need, age groups, and culturally, linguistically diverse communities that special educators address. You may view the video at UNC Charlotte’s YouTube Channel.  

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE