State of the Special Education Profession

CEC's State of the Special Education Profession Survey Report is a groundbreaking survey of more than 1,460 special education teachers, commissioned by the CEC Pioneers Division and supported by CEC.

The results of this survey provide a current snapshot of the state of the profession and serve as a data-driven foundation for CEC leadership activities in public policy, standards, and professional development.

Download the full State of the Special Education Profession Survey Report.

Four thematic areas emerged in the survey results:

  • Use of the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Survey respondents’ feelings of competence
  • The importance of family engagement
  • The need for systems-support in delivering special education

A fifth area explored what respondents report they need to be successful with their students. Within these areas, respondents identified strengths in their profession as well as areas of concern.

Ultimately, respondents ranked the most important factors for their success in teaching students with exceptionalities. The top three factors included:

  • Adequate resources to meet IEP requirements
  • Smaller class size/caseloads
  • Administrators who support the IEP process


Read the results of the survey as featured in the Sept.-Oct. 2019 issue of our research-to-practice journal, TEACHING Exceptional Children.

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Watch a webinar hosted by the authors of the report in the CECommunity All-Member Forum.

Special thanks to the authors and co-chairs of the State of the Profession Workgroup, Drs. Susan A. Fowler, Mary Ruth B. Coleman, and William K. Bogdan for their leadership and dedication to this important work.