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Intellect

New BYU program allows baccalaureate graduates to certify in special education

18-month programs will certify, license graduates of accredited institutions

The Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education at Brigham Young University has developed a program to allow baccalaureate graduates of any accredited university to certify to teach special education.

Due to the shortage of special education teachers, local school districts came to the David O. McKay School of Education asking for a program to allow current teachers to receive a licensure to teach special education. The McKay School of Education and Utah State Office of Education approved an 18-month program that certifies and licenses participants to teach special education.

Local school districts are in need of a local licensure program because only a few schools even offer a licensure program and they are located in northern and southern Utah.

Those who participate in the program are admitted to the licensure program, but not to BYU.

"The program focuses on the preparation of competent and moral educators who understand and respond to the needs of diverse students with disabilities and their families, with an emphasis on problem solving in collaborative relationships with educational professionals and paraprofessionals," said Katie Sampson, admissions chair for the program.

The program is based on theory and practice. Courses teach ways to assess students, plan instruction using appropriate curriculum, use appropriate behavior management strategies and engage in collaborative problem solving with school and family systems.

Classes for the program begin after 4 p.m. in order to allow those who work full-time to attend classes. The program is geared toward those who already work full-time or who are interested in a different career.

"We really look for people who have had an interest in special education," Sampson said. "Licensure participants have success because they know that is what they want to do."

Applicants are accepted into the program for fall semester and receive their licensure at the end of the next fall semester. For an application visit www.byu.edu/cse/licensureapp.pdf or www.byu.edu/cse.

For more information contact Katie Sampson at (801) 422-1408.

Writer: Rebekah Hanson

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