CEC functions as: an advocate in seeking for appropriate governmental policies and setting professional standards; a supporter for the underserved individuals with exceptionalities and for the professionals who are in need of resources for their professional practice; a provider of various programs, conventions and conferences for professional development; and a publisher of journals, newsletters, and other educational resources for administrators, teachers, students, parents, paraprofessionals, and support service providers (CEC, 2008). CEC Website
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) website is filled with an array of information that will benefit special education professionals and parents who are involved in the care and education of exceptional individuals. At an initial glance, the website appears to be overwhelming for readers who may be technologically challenged or those who do not use the internet often. The headline news and information that is located at the center of the webpage may attract the attention of the readers who may not be familiar with CEC and those who may want to keep tract of the latest news.
Using colorful shades of blocks to group related information together, e. g. CEC Communities, Teaching & Learning Center, CEC Smartbrief, CEC Events and Regional Workshops, makes it convenient for the readers to locate the topic that they need to search. In addition, having a search box is an added feature that researchers may use in getting any information related to special education, exceptional students and individuals with special needs. The inclusion of a multimedia player to enable the user to view a short segment of the “Yes I Can!
” awards is not only inspiring but also informative for the parents and students with disabilities. For individuals who do not have a bachelor’s degree, the career center provides guidelines in finding degree programs in special education and the preparations needed to become a licensed special educator. For those who have earned a bachelor’s degree, the career center also provides options on how to obtain a license through the university programs such as graduate degrees or alternative programs. Some local districts may provide evaluation of the teachers’ school transcripts to determine their eligibility.
For those who would like to earn a degree in special education, the CEC website is a one stop career information center with database, resources, and links on financial aids and educational grants given by various foundations. For the educators who would like to make a difference in the lives of people with special needs, the website offers information on how to write a resume and prepare a professional portfolio. It also provides tips on how to prepare for a job interview and makes the applicants aware about the crucial questions that may be asked in a job interview.
Furthermore, the career center provides details regarding career paths related to special education that people may choose to specialize in, other than being a classroom teacher. Some career paths may include art therapist, educational audiologist, educational diagnostician, rehabilitation counselor, school psychologist, speech language pathologist, and therapeutic recreation specialist among others. Information on the occupational outlook and average salary of public school teachers taken from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics may be viewed in the webpage.
The CEC website is also an online job board for employers who are looking for qualified special educators and for the job seekers who are looking for new positions or opportunities to work as special education teachers. An in-depth look into the website would give the special education students and educators a knowledge that CEC adheres to strict professional ethics and standard as it provides resources for the highly qualified requirements for special education teachers as set forth in the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
The comprehensive, easy to use resource will assist educators in determining the background special educators need to be deemed high qualified as it covers all aspects of the issue to make it easy for educators to understand the law, terminology, the requirements special educators must meet, and how IDEA and NCLB intersect.
There are several research papers that can be downloaded and read online with regards to evidence-based practice, current issues, instructional strategies, CEC articles, topics related to professional practice, instruction and curriculum in subject areas such as arts, reading, language, math, writing, science, foreign language, physical education, speech and language, self-discrimination, and social skills.
To keep abreast on the latest news, technology advancement, and topics related to special education, readers may subscribe to the CEC Smartbrief or to some CEC publications, e. g. Exceptional Children, Teaching Exceptional Children, CEC Today, Teaching Exceptional Children Plus (TEC Plus), and Life Centered Career Education (LCCE). There are online courses for continuing education, web seminars, and regional workshops for SPED practitioners.
Special education professionals and students from different countries may join the CEC blog, interact and share information related to teaching strategies, classroom management, behavior modification, and individual educational program. Conclusion The Council for Exceptional Children website has a wealth of information for parents of children with exceptionalities, special education teachers, students and paraprofessionals.
The website is filled with resources for individuals who intend to become special educators as well as practitioners who would like to enhance their knowledge and skills through the online professional development courses, web seminars, regional workshops or customize training. The blog offered by CEC is a site where special education teachers can share their expertise and contribute to improve the quality of life and education for persons with exceptionalities. Reference Council for Exceptional Children (2008). About CEC. Retrieved on June 20, 2008 from http://www. cec. sped. org/AM/Template. cfm? Section=About_CEC.