The School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is meeting a need for special education teachers by offering a Special Education Instructional Specialist Program beginning this fall.

The School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is meeting a need for special education teachers by offering a Special Education Instructional Specialist Program beginning this fall.

Counties in Arkansas with a high need for special education teachers include Arkansas, Chicot, Desha, Drew, Jefferson, Lee, Lincoln, Monroe, Phillips and St. Francis.

According to Fredda Carroll, Interim Dean for the School of Education and Ellen Eddings, chair for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, obtaining the approval to offer the courses was important in helping the Arkansas Department of Education address the critical need shortage of special education teachers across the Arkansas Delta Region.

It additionally addresses an outcry for more courses in the area of special education from prospective students and local school leaders.

The Special Education Instructional Specialist Program is offered to teachers who are currently licensed in early childhood, elementary or secondary education and to those who have an interest in furthering their professional career goals in the areas of special education.

The courses address the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions to prepare licensed teachers to work with students with both high-incidence and low-incidence disabilities from ages 5-21 in a variety of settings with an emphasis on helping them succeed in general education curriculum.

Upon successful completion of the seven courses and passing the required Praxis Exam, candidates who are eligible may apply directly to the Arkansas Department of Education for the endorsement add-on. The endorsement will be placed on an existing teaching certificate and the candidate may teach exceptional learners only at the grade levels encompassed by the existing certificate.

To apply or learn more about the program, contact Linda Joshua, Coordinator for Graduate Programs in the School of Education at 575-8058.