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State of the Profession

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State of the Profession

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)'s State of the Special Education Profession Survey Report is a groundbreaking survey of more than 1,460 special education teachers, commissioned by the CEC Pioneers Division and supported by CEC.

The results of this survey provide a current snapshot of the state of the profession and serve as a data-driven foundation for CEC leadership activities in public policystandards, and professional development.

About the Survey

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)'s State of the Special Education Profession Survey Report is a groundbreaking survey of more than 1,460 special education teachers, commissioned by the CEC Pioneers Division and supported by CEC.

The results of this survey provide a current snapshot of the state of the profession and serve as a data-driven foundation for CEC leadership activities in public policy, standards, and professional development.

Learn more about the State of the Profession Survey from Mary Ruth Coleman, one of the authors of the survey and Senior Scientist Emeritus from FPG Child Development Institute.

Download the full State of the Profession Survey Report

Highlights from the Survey

Four thematic areas emerged in the survey results:

  • Use of the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Survey respondents’ feelings of competence
  • The importance of family engagement
  • The need for systems-support in delivering special education

A fifth area explored what respondents report they need to be successful with their students. Within these areas, respondents identified strengths in their profession as well as areas of concern. Ultimately, respondents ranked the most important factors for their success in teaching students with exceptionalities. The top three factors included:

  • Adequate resources to meet IEP requirements
  • Smaller class size/caseloads
  • Administrators who support the IEP process

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