Essays in Education


A large shortage of qualified special education teachers is one of the most serious and pervasive problems facing students disabilities. With both the quality and the quantity of special educators requiring improvement, teacher educators are becoming more aware of the necessity to train better-prepared special education teachers. In response to the problems, the Clemson University undergraduate program in Special Education has developed rigorous curricula and performance standards to prepare highly trained special educators. In addition to the standard program requirements, a systematic plan was developed to facilitate the improvement of struggling student teachers who are not meeting expected performance competencies. The purpose of this article is to describe Clemson University’s special education teacher preparation program’s field experience requirements and the systematic procedures used to provide additional support to struggling student teachers.

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