The Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) approved and provided updates Wednesday on initiatives working to grow Indiana’s pipeline of special education teachers statewide.
The SBOE’s says its final approval creates a new alternative route license in special education.
In alignment with federal requirements, the new license will allow special education teachers previously working on an emergency permit to continue serving in Indiana classrooms while completing a professional educator license in special education or an addition to their existing license. The alternative route license in special education, which will be valid for three years, requires an educator to hold a bachelor’s degree, be employed by an Indiana school and be enrolled in an approved alternative special education program. Over these three years, the educator will work to complete all requirements for professional licensure.
The SBOE also approved two special education programs that will each provide transition to teaching programs to bachelor’s degree holders who are interested in becoming special education teachers. These programs are offered through the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education (ICASE) and SPEDACTS.
With the addition of these new transition to teaching programs, Indiana will now have 12 transition to teaching programs available in special education across the state.
The SBOE also provided an update on the Indiana Special Education Assisted Licensure (I-SEAL) Initiative. The I-SEAL initiative works to streamline the required coursework for teachers to earn full special education licensure. I-SEAL also provides financial assistance and scholarships to educators while they complete these requirements.
The board says that upon completion of an educator preparation program, a Transition to Teaching program or an I-SEAL graduate program and completion of all required state licensing exams, individuals will be eligible for a special education license. Eligible individuals can learn more and apply for assistance by visiting IndianaSEAL.org.