CEC's Standards Development Process

Setting the Foundation for the Future of Special Education

Did you miss the May 30th webinar on the Standards Development process and the debut of the Draft CEC Initial Preparation Standards? Watch the webinar now!


You can view the complete Draft Standards and Components and participate in the public comment period here.

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. CAEP has approved a standards application submission deadline for CEC of July 2020.

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. 2017
  • Feedback session at 2018 CEC Convention - Feb. 2018
  • First draft of standards developed – April 2018
  • Standards draft open for public comment – Spring/Summer 2018
  • Workgroup meeting to incorporate comments – June/July 2018
  • Development of supporting explanations – Summer 2018
  • External feedback opportunities – Fall 2018/Winter 2019
  • Draft standards to PSPC for review – Spring 2019
  • CAEP-approved standards application submission deadline: July 1, 2020

Currently Scheduled Public Feedback Opportunities

Thursday, June 1-Monday, July 9:

The opportunity to provide feedback on the first draft of the Initial CEC Preparation Standards is now open! You can watch a webinar hosted by the chairs of the Standards Development Workgroup, review the draft of the Standards and Components, and provide feedback on the draft here.

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, Ky.
  • Theresa Garfield, Texas A&M University—San Antonio
  • Shannon Gormley Budin, SUNY Buffalo State
  • John M. Johnston, University of Memphis
  • Mary Little, University of Central Florida
  • Erica McCray, University of Florida
  • Kevin Rubenstein, Lake Bluff School District 65, Ill.
  • Vicki D. Stayton, Western Kentucky University
  • James McLeskey, University of Florida