Monthly Archives: December 2016

Become a Special Education Teacher

The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) has defined the field of Special Education as “Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.” Parents and their special needs children are provided with additional services, customized environments, programs, specialized placements, and support. Parents are not charged a fee for these Special Education needs which are designed to address children with special learning requirements.

The broad range of Special Education support and learning tools varies considerably, based on educational jurisdictions and level or severity of need. Each one of these educational jurisdictions, whether it is county or state, will have different legislation, policies, regulations, and rules governing exactly what Special Education is comprised of. In the US, the IDEA (see above) is the current governing law.

How to become a Special Education teacher

If you have been considering becoming a Special Education teacher, be aware of the fact that it is not easy by any means. There are certain requirements that you have to meet and steps that you have to take. The following will give you a reasonably decent idea:

Get qualified – you’re going to need a Teaching Certificate from the state you are planning to teach in and be classified as a Highly Qualified instructor in the subjects you plan on teaching. Your state’s Department of Education will have the requirements you need.

Locate an accredited college or university with a Special Education curriculum – you will find that private and public institutions offer this and prepare you for a career in the teaching field.

Take as many elective mathematics and reading course as possible – it is quite common to find Special Education students integrated into English and Mathematics classes. Taking numerous elective courses in these areas will give you a better idea of these student’s special needs.

Always search for alternative options – be sure to check all the options available if your degree does not make you Highly Qualified in the field. Normally, every state in the country offers two or three options for becoming HQ. Provided your home state considers it as acceptable, the Praxis II Exam is your best and most direct option for becoming HQ.

Additional tips to consider

Most importantly, you will want to further your education whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Your willingness to learn more about the subjects you teach will lead to you becoming an excellent teacher down the road. Remember that your respect as a Special Education teacher is earned. Granted, as a teacher, you have the ability to apply leverage with your position but until the student respects you as a teacher, good teaching is not going to take place.

One more point to make here is that no matter what you do or how you teach, there will always be a parent and or student, as well as a staff member who is not going to like you. The best advice we can give you – learn to live with it.

Successfully Navigating the Special Education Maze

Are you the parent of a child with Autism, or a learning disability who receives special education services? Does your life with your child seem overwhelming, and you sometimes find it difficult to be the advocate for school issues, as you need to be? Or have you given up advocating for your child’s education because you feel that you cannot win? This article will give you 6 ideas on how you can overcome apathy, successfully navigate the special education maze, so that your child can receive an appropriate education!

1. Realize that special education is an entitlement for your child under Federal Special Education law (IDEA 2004), and that he or she is depending on you to fight for the services that they need!

2. Now that school is back in session, try and attend a few parent trainings (on federal and state education and disability law), where you can learn about the law, and gain important advocacy information, as well as meet other parents in your area. Look for groups that provide parent training at your States parent training and information center (PTIC), or local disability organizations such as the ARC or United Cerebral Palsey (UCP).

3. If a local advocacy group does not exist consider starting one with other parents. Attend a few groups so that you can decide what is important to include in your advocacy group. Encourage all members to support each other in their advocacy efforts by perhaps attending each others meetings, or role playing certain situations that may arise. Bringing in knowledgeable speakers will empower your advocacy!

4. Join online organizations that not only educate parents, but have access to knowledgeable people such as lawyers or independent evaluators. Consider joining COPAA (Counsel of Parent Attorney’s and Advocates ); for a small yearly fee you can join the listserv that has parents, advocates, and attorneys discussing education advocacy issues. You may ask questions and seek advice on any advocacy situation that you are dealing with. By receiving expert help you will be empowered in your advocacy!

5. Pursue an independent educational evaluation (IEE) to determine what related and special education services that your child needs in order to receive an appropriate education. Try and find a child friendly qualified evaluator that is either a Clinical Psychologist or a Neuropsychologist. It may take several months for an appointment so now is a good time to plan for the evaluation. Do not forget to mention your child’s need for extended school year services (ESY) if this is an issue with your school district-a recommendation from an independent evaluator that a child needs ESY is helpful to convince educators that this is needed. Ask your evaluator to put specific recommendations for amount and type of ESY in his or her evaluation report.

6. Try and find another experienced parent or an advocate who can attend meetings with you, educate you on education law, give you advocacy tips, and share information on how you can overcome roadblocks to an appropriate education for your child. Experienced advocates can guide you through the process, as you successfully navigate the special education maze! Make sure any advocate you choose knows IDEA 2004, and your States education law, as well as a willingness to stand up to school personnel and roadblocks that special educators put up!

Use these tips and you will well be on your way to overcoming special education apathy, for your child’s educational benefit!

Top Online Universities

Education right from school to college and universities are going through a major change. Keeping in the mind the requirement of working men and women for higher education, more and more schools in the US are gearing for online courses and programs. Top schools like Cornell and Harvard also offer online education.

If you are working and want to pursue a bachelor, associate, or master’s degree in a particular subject then you can choose the relevant programs offered by top online universities. One of the salient points of studying online is that you can work and continue your studies simultaneously. There are many people who are working 9-to-5 and studying through online courses in the night for an MBA degree. What this will really do is boost your career growth by offering you plenty of opportunities.

Here’s a question: If two people appeared for a job position and person A had an MBA degree while person B had 5 years of experience and MBA degree, who do you think will get the job. The answer is person B. So you can very well imagine how much online education will help in providing you with better career opportunities. But the fact still remains that you will have to pursue it from top online universities and not just any online school to derive maximum benefit.

Here is a list of the 10 top online universities in the US

1. Nova Southeastern University: Is also known as NSU and it was officially started in 1964. It is considered as one of the top online universities in the US and is ranked as the seventh largest non-profit university in the US as well. NSU has whopping alumni of 103,000 students and is situated in a sprawling 300-acre campus in Fort Lauderdale-Davie. Nova Southeastern University offers quite a few online programs like Computer Information Systems, Business Administration, Education – Child Development, Early Childhood Education (A.A.), Entrepreneurship, Elementary Education, Health Science, International Business Administration, Human Resource Management, and Nursing, Psychology.

2. Regent University: Regent University is one of the top online universities in the US and was started by Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson in 1978. The Regent University online offers fully accredited program that can be compared to a great extent with their on-campus programs. Apart from this, students of online courses will also be able to access their online library.

3. Champlain College: Champlain College is regarded as an educational pioneer since 1878. The college is responsible for introducing new fields of study like Computer and digital forensics and Game Design. The online programs offered by the Champlain College are quite diverse and include Business Management as well. Champlain College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc..

Apart from the three top online universities, some of the other universities include:

4. Upper Iowa University
5. LeTourneau University
6. Liberty University
7. Grand Canyon University
8. Dickinson State University
9. Western Governors University
10. Salem International University

Get Ahead With a Degree From One of the Top 10 Online Universities

Online universities offer an excellent opportunity to get quality education, whether you are looking to change or advance your career, or to realize your dream of getting a degree.

Technological advances have made it possible for you to get the education that you want from the university or college of your choice at your convenience. With online education you no longer have to make any compromises regarding your education. You have the opportunity to select from any of the top online universities that offers the education you are looking for. All these top universities schedule online classes that you can fit into your busy lifestyle. Keep reading to find out a few other reasons for why you should choose one of the top 10 online universities to get your degree.

Structured classes are offered by reputed online universities in a wide range of categories like arts, science, technology, business, management and nursing. Under each of these categories you will be able to find a particular specialty that is best suited to your interests and abilities.

Their degree programs are designed to provide unique challenges that will help to prepare you to excel in a work place environment. You will undergo relevant training in the particular field of your choice. Assignments and projects are specially designed to improve your skills in problem solving, management, communication and other important aspects of your career. You will be trained to make effective use of the latest technology in your area of study. The knowledge and experience you gain will make you an asset to any employer.

Moreover, a degree from one of the prestigious top 10 online universities will give the much needed boost to your resume. A quality education backed by reputed universities will definitely help to open doors for you to achieve your dreams.

Keep reading for a brief look at some of the top rated online universities.

Kaplan University – It is one of the largest and most reputed among the top online universities. It offers a wide selection of associates, bachelors and masters degrees.

Westwood College Online – One of the nations best ranked online universities for their prestigious programs in computers, IT and arts. They are well known for their flexible schedules and offer associates and bachelor degree programs.

Grand Canyon University – Their offer of affordable and quality online programs have made them one of the most favored for online education.

Liberty University – Liberty is the nations best evangelical university. It offers numerous online programs for students in a Christian learning environment.

AIU Online – Their job placement statistics are extraordinary and is the best choice if you are looking for career advancement.

Ashford University – They are well known for their numerous grants and scholarships which make them a favorite among working students. This can be one of your best choices if you are looking for quality education at affordable rates.

Devry University – This university is favored by those who want to experience both online and campus education.

Everest University – Their offer of abundant grants and flexible schedules make them as one of the most favored among working adults.

ITT Tech – It has the largest network of online as well as campus schools. Many student surveys have ranked ranked ITT Tech as one of the best online universities.