Special Education Non-Profit Organization Supported by The Mind Trust Has Added an Alternative Pathway to Special Education Licensure

Dr. Sheri L. Anderson, Director of SPEDACTS, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide schools with access to special education services has just added a vertical to the organization. In response to the state’s critical shortage of licensed special education teachers, Dr. Anderson developed SPED: RAL (Special Education: Rigorous Acceleration to Licensure), an innovative pathway to licensure. As of April 13, 2022, the Indiana State Board of Education approved the SPED: RAL pathway and the program will soon be in its implementation phase.

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Highlights of the Program

  • Significant reduction in the time it takes to complete special education certification
  • Program is aligned with state and Council for Exceptional Children standards

  • Teacher-candidates have on the job training that is supported by mentors and coaches

  • Pathway designed to address P-12 teaching and learning

  • Special efforts made to attract minority and male teacher-candidates

  • Curriculum designed in hybrid (in-person and online) format

  • Content for pathway is intensive and can be completed within an academic school year

  • As compared to tradition universities/colleges, tuition is significantly lower

  • Support of teacher-candidates will continue through passing of required Praxis exams

  • Instructors for SPED: RAL will be properly credentialed and have experience working with children with special needs

  • SPED: RAL’s effectiveness will be determined via an independent organization’s evaluation such as Class Measures (beginning in year 2)

  • SPED: RAL’s pathway has been a year in the making with continuous support and scrutiny by the Indiana Department of Education, Educator Preparation Programs reviewers