Training the next generation of leaders in special education

The latest cohort of Special Education Leadership Program participants with Sandi Cole (front row on the right)

Educators spent some of their summer break in Bloomington this month as part of a program that will prepare them for leadership roles in special education.

The Special Education Leadership Program is a 21-credit hour program for the Director of Special Education licensure. The program is a unique “cohort” model, giving students an opportunity to complete three courses face-to-face.

“The program was developed specifically for this type of cohort as it is my belief that when students spend quality time learning and playing together, they build important relationships for future networking and future careers. Over the 15 years of managing this program, I have strong evidence from student feedback and from the networks that have been built that this has created strong relationships and support across the field,” said Sandi Cole, Director of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning.

Ten educators from around the state were on campus this month completing a week-long course within the program. That week together can have a lasting impact, helping to create a network of support after completion of the license.

“It is important that school districts have strong leaders who understand the challenges and opportunities of serving students with disabilities and who work in a collaborative fashion with other executive leadership to ensure that all students get what they need,” Cole added.