In 2012, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) revised its Initial Level Special Educator Professional Preparation Standards. The Initial Professional Preparation Standards are designed to be used by faculty in Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) and professional development programs to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula to prepare individuals at the entry-level of special education (i.e., those individuals who do not possess a license/credential in special education).  These standards have also been approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for the purpose of review and accreditation of initial IHE programs in special education.

 

In addition to the 7 CEC Initial Standards and 28 Elements, 12 CEC Divisions, including DEC, have Initial Specialty Sets which include knowledge and skill statements that further inform the CEC Standards and Elements.  All IHE and professional preparation programs in EI/ECSE must use the Initial Specialty Set:  Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention in conjunction with the CEC Standards and Elements.  Use of the DEC Initial Specialty Set ensures that early interventionists and early childhood special educators are prepared to provide evidence-based services for children birth through 8 years with special needs and their families in the variety of community settings in which those services are delivered.

The CEC Special Education Specialist Advanced Preparation Standards are designed to be used by faculty in IHEs and professional development programs to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula to prepare individuals who already possess a special education license/credential and who are preparing to be special education specialists.  The 7 Advanced Standards are used in master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degree programs.  These standards have also been approved by CAEP  for the purpose of review and accreditation of advanced IHE programs in special education.

 

The DEC Advanced Specialty Set:  Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention includes knowledge and skill statements aligned with the CEC Special Education Specialist Advanced Preparation Standards and further inform the CEC Standards and Elements.  All IHE and professional preparation programs in EI/ECSE must use the DEC Advanced Specialty Set in conjunction with the CEC Standards and Elements.

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