Teachers Beyond Classrooms
Core Function: Technical Assistance and Outreach Training, Research and Evaluation
Teachers Beyond Classrooms is a graduate-level teacher preparation project designed to increase the number of fully qualified teachers, especially those from underrepresented groups, who are credentialed to serve infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with significant disabilities. The project has developed and is implementing and evaluating a program of study and field experiences that prepare teachers to work with families and other adults who work on behalf of young children with disabilities. It is designed to prepare teachers who are confident and capable of meeting the needs of those young children and families who are most challenging to early intervention/early childhood special education systems, and it puts supports in place to ensure teacher retention. Graduates will be eligible for a master's degree and a state teaching credential in special education with an emphasis in early intervention/early childhood special education.
This competency-based program supports nine full-time students each year who are in the second year of a two-year master's degree program, providing both tuition and stipends. Students selected for the program have demonstrated excellent teaching skills with children and are committed to acquiring the knowledge and skills to work effectively with the many other adults involved in early intervention/early childhood special education.
Learning projects are designed to build students' competency and confidence in working with adults in order to improve outcomes for children and engage families in their child's learning. The project recruits and supports community-based mentors who guide students in understanding the complexity of the teaching role. Faculty members also involve families of young children with disabilities in a variety of learning experiences for students. The second year collaborative seminar affords opportunities for serious discussion and simulated practice of case-based problem solving.