Lakeland, CESA 7 partner to address special education teacher shortage
Schools across Wisconsin and nationally are facing a shortage of special education teachers.
Lakeland University and the regional Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA 7) in Green Bay are partnering to address the shortage by creating a new pathway for Lakeland education majors to earn a special education teaching license.
The partnership with CESA 7 will allow Lakeland students pursuing a K-9 teaching license to add a K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education license by completing four special education elective courses through CESA 7 and a student teaching experience through Lakeland.
Students who graduate with both licenses have more options when applying for teaching jobs, especially in areas of high need for most school districts.
Graduates will be licensed to teach in a regular education setting in grades kindergarten through 9, and in school districts that provide services to pupils in kindergarten through grade 12 with intellectual, emotional-behavioral, specific learning or other disabilities.
The special education license is available to education majors at Lakeland’s main campus in Sheboygan County, as well as education majors at Lakeland’s Kellett School centers in Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Neenah and Wisconsin Rapids.
The courses will be taught by CESA 7 faculty and can be offered in-person and virtually beginning this fall.
“We are all too familiar with the need for more special education teachers, and we are eager to help districts by graduating more qualified teachers,” said Lakeland Professor of Education John Yang.
“This is an innovative approach and will allow interested students to graduate with two teaching licenses. Given our statewide reach and our strong relationships with Wisconsin’s school districts, we’re confident we can help them find the teachers they need.”
CESA 7 Administrator Jeff Dickert said the partnership will give Lakeland graduates an edge over peers who are looking for jobs while benefiting the state’s school districts who need special education teachers.
“In this program, the graduating teacher will have so much more to offer than their peers graduating from other institutions,” Dickert said. “To leave with a K-9 Teachers License and also a K-12 Special Education License without doing the traditional double major is exciting and revolutionary in the education business.”