Iowa State to offer new teacher special education program

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University is one of nine Iowa colleges and universities to work with the Iowa Department of Education (Iowa DE) to provide coursework options for special education teachers to become fully certified.

The program allows those teachers to take coursework via the Iowa Communications Network, by correspondence or at different campuses or centers from the nine Iowa institutions, said Patricia Carlson, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and Iowa State's liaison for the new Strategist I Network program.

"We're excited to be a part of this innovative program," Carlson said. "The network affords working teachers the ability to take advantage of coursework that is timely, convenient and more easily accessible than traditional licensing programs."

Norma Lynch, the program's coordinator for the Iowa DE, said this is an unprecedented partnership in Iowa higher education and will help Iowa deal with the shortage of special education teachers.

"This network provides benefits for teachers seeking full special education certification, for administrators seeking to fill special education vacancies and for the students in Iowa school districts," Lynch said.

Other participating colleges and universities in the Strategist I Network are Buena Vista University, Storm Lake; Drake University and Grand View College, both in Des Moines; Morningside College, Sioux City; St. Ambrose University, Davenport; Simpson College, Indianola; the University of Iowa, Iowa City; and the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

For more information, call Carlson at (515) 294-8514; Lynch at (515) 281-6038; or Mike Cavin, the program counselor/advocate, (319) 273-6105.