Early Childhood Education (B.S.Ed.) and Special Education (PreK-8) (M.Ed.)
The market for highly qualified special education teachers remains unabated. The latest report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the need for special education teachers will increase by 17% percent between 2008 and 2018. This shortage of Special Education teachers has been identified regionally (i.e., Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and is particularly prevalent in urban centers in the immediate environs of Temple. The Governor’s Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (2006) reported that in Pennsylvania, 52 percent of districts report challenges recruiting special education teachers.
To be considered highly qualified a special education teacher in Pennsylvania, an individual must hold a regular education certification collaterally with a special education certificate. The 4 +1 Early Childhood/Special Education program is responsive to this requirement inasmuch as it is designed to provide dual certification.
The following principles serve as the foundation for the program:
- Commitment to evidence-based, instructional practices and their implementation in the classroom.
- Commitment to recognizing and ameliorating the impact of socio-cultural factors on the education of children with disabilities.
- Emphasis on preventative approaches that de-emphasize labels and traditional diagnostic categories to support improved teaching and learning.
- Commitment to inclusive practices both within schools and within society as a whole.