CEC's Standards Development Process

Workgroup Charge & Goals

CEC’s Professional Preparation Standards define the specialized expertise special educators must master for the safe and effective practice of special education. These standards are used to inform preparation programs, accreditation organizations, and licensing agencies. CEC partners with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a national educator preparation program accreditor, to recognize education programs that prepare teachers to work with students with exceptionalities, based on their meeting of standards established by CEC.

The current CEC Initial and Advanced Preparation Standards, last approved by CAEP in 2012, each include seven standards with a total of 28 elements, and are the standards all programs must meet to receive national recognition from CEC. Every seven years, CAEP requires that Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) like CEC, review their professional standards and make revisions, as necessary, and with input from the field they represent. Currently, CEC's professional preparation standards are due for revisions in the summer of 2019.

In April 2017, the CEC Board of Directors approved a set of recommendations drafted by the Framing Paper Workgroup, which outlined specific direction for CEC staff, volunteer leaders and consultants to convene a work group tasked to review and revise CEC’s preparation standards. The first recommendation of the Framing Paper Workgroup was that CEC “Establish a Standards Development Workgroup to be comprised of twelve (12) people.” This work group is tasked with reviewing and revising the CEC professional preparation standards, per the CAEP guidelines and based on the recommendations outlined in the Framing Document.

As the standards development process continues, updates and opportunities for public feedback will be posted here, and shared in Special Education Today.

Anticipated Standards Development Timeline

  • Call for workgroup applications opened - May 2017
  • Workgroup members selected - July 2017
  • Feedback session at TED Convention - Nov. 2017
  • Workgroup meeting - Dec. 2018
  • First draft of revised standards completed - Jan. 2018
  • Feedback session at 2018 CEC Convention - Feb. 2018
  • Standards draft open for public comment - Spring 2018
  • Workgroup meeting to incorporate comments - June 2018
  • Draft standards to Professional Standards and Practice Committee for review - Early 2019

Currently Scheduled Public Feedback Opportunities

Thursday, Feb. 8, 1 p.m.—CEC 2018 Convention & Expo, Tampa, FL

Feedback Session 2 

Workgroup Chairs Ginnie McLaughlin (left) and Dee Berlinghoff lead the first standards open feedback session at TED 2017 Conference in November 2017.


Standards Development Workgroup Members

  • Dee Berlinghoff, Co-Chair, Mount St. Mary College
  • Ginnie McLaughlin, Co-Chair, College of William & Mary
  • Tisa Aceves, Loyola Marymount University
  • Rachelle Bruno, Northern Kentucky University
  • Ginevra Courtade, University of Louisville
  • Theresa Garfield, Texas A&M University—San Antonio
  • Shannon Gormley Budin, Buffalo State College
  • John M. Johnston, University of Memphis
  • Mary Little, University of Central Florida
  • Alba Ortiz, University of Texas
  • Kevin Rubenstein, Lake Bluff School District 65, Calif.
  • Vicki D. Stayton, Western Kentucky University
  • James McLeskey, University of Florida