Aspiring special education teachers will soon have more training options.
With approval from the Indiana Department of Education, Trine University is expanding its special education licensure programs to encompass preschool through 12th grade beginning spring 2019, the university announced Thursday.
Programs were previously limited to kindergarten through sixth grade, according to Trine. Many school districts struggle to fill special education positions.
The special education population accounts for about 15 percent of all Indiana students, according to state data from the 2017-18 year, the latest for which information was available.
“We reached out to our stakeholders and asked them about expanding special education and the response was overwhelmingly yes,” Anthony Kline, dean of the Franks School of Education, said in a statement. “Special education is one of the biggest needs in education across the country.”
The change at Trine also means more options for secondary education graduates. Some will be able to add special education licensure to an existing content area within their four-year degree program, according to Trine.
“Now our secondary students who have a heart for special education can major in social studies education and special education, or English education and special education,” Kline said. “To complete both licensures within four years is a tremendous value to our teacher education candidates.”