The Exceptional Students and Elementary Education (ESEE) program in the College of Education (COE) has been ranked in the “25 Best Special Education Degrees for 2017” by College Choice for the second consecutive year. Selected for its bachelor’s in education degree, the ESEE is among the few truly merged elementary and special education programs across the nation.
The cross-departmental program, led by Special Education Associate Professor Lysandra Cook and School of Teacher Education Associate Professor Jamie Simpson-Steele, was designed to prepare students to teach in diverse settings and provides greater access to job opportunities because of the dual licensure.
“We have partnered to make this an outstanding program where diverse experiences, philosophies, and practices are valued,” said Simpson-Steele. “It’s such a privilege to work with professionals who are all willing to go the extra mile to make a complex program like ESEE really work. This is a recognition of the amazing efforts of our faculty and the support of our administration here at the COE.”
As a blended dual program, the ESEE incorporates principles of inclusion Culturally Responsive Teaching, Co-Teaching, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Response to Intervention (RtI), instructional technology, Evidence-Based Practices, and Data-Based Decision Making into every aspect of the curriculum.
Current ESEE student, Paige Edwards, said, “In this program, we are given the tools, resources, and strategies to reach and address the diversity of all learners. We see our professors model these effective strategies for explicit, hands-on-minds-on learning, so we can implement them into our future teaching practice.”
College Choice is an independent online publication that publishes rankings, reviews, and other resources to help students and their families find the right fit and the best college. Their “25 Best” list is based on standard academic reputation rankings, net tuition, early career earnings, and acceptance rates.