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CEC Program Review and National Recognition

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About the Process

CEC Program Review and National Recognition

Special educator preparation programs may seek National Recognition from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) as part of the the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Accreditation Process.

Programs in states requiring specialized professional association (SPA) program review with National Recognition or programs that choose to participate in SPA review will submit their SPA report at least three years in advance of their CAEP site visit and in consultation with CAEP staff.

The program will submit evidence using CEC’s program report templates (or shells) for each content area and degree level. The evidence will describe candidates’ performance on a set of key assessments that demonstrate meeting the CEC's Standards.

    CEC Program Review and National Recognition is available in the following areas for programs who pursue the SPA Program Review Option during their CAEP Accreditation process: 

    1. Initial Professional Preparation Standards
    2. Advanced Professional Preparation Standards
    3. Initial Gifted Educator Preparation Standards
    4. Preparation for Advanced Gifted Education Roles

    CEC has submitted the 2020 Initial Practice-Based Professional Preparation Standards for Special Educators (Initial K-12 Standards) and the Initial Practice-Based Professional Preparation Standards for Early Interventionists/Early Childhood Special Educators (EI/ECSE) to CAEP for inclusion in the SPA Program Review Process. Pending CAEP’s acceptance, they will become optional for use for reports submitted in spring 2021 and required in spring 2023 for use in the SPA Program Review Process 

    VIEW THE CEC PROGRAM REPORT FAQ

    Click here for a flowchart demonstrating determining which level of standards and specialty set to use.

    Partnership with CAEP

    For our program recognition work, we partner with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Both the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and CAEP view the foundation of a strong profession as a shared body of specialized knowledge and skill based on research and public confidence that professionals are prepared to practice. 

    VIEW PROGRAMS

    For Programs

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    Resources for programs pursuing national recognition.

    For Volunteer Reviewers

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    Resources for volunteer program reviewers.

    Gifted Preparation Program Recognition

    In March 2018, CEC, in collaboration with The Association for the Gifted (TAG), became the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) of record for gifted educator preparation programs, which will allow teacher preparation programs to continue to seek National Recognition through the CAEP accreditation process.

    To learn more about high-quality gifted education preparation, check out CEC’s Initial and Advanced Gifted Education Professional Standards.

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