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Special Education Preparation Standards

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)'s Preparation Standards define what special educators must know and master for safe and effective practice.

These standards are used to inform preparation programs, accreditation organizations, and credentialing agencies.

Initial Preparation Standards

Initial Special Education Preparation Standards

Our Initial Special Education Preparation Standards are designed for programs that prepare beginning special educators for their careers in the field.

Advanced Preparation Standards

Advanced Special Education Preparation Standards

Our Advanced Special Education Preparation Standards are designed for programs that help special educators progress or pursue new roles within special education.

K-12 Standards

teacher with class

Our 2012 Performance-Based Initial Preparation Standards define what candidates must know to begin teaching. In July 2020, CEC released the revised 2020 K-12 Preparation Standards—with a narrowed focus on preparing special educators of students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Last Updated:  20 August, 2020

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