CEC Professional Standards

From its earliest days, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognized the critical role of standards in defining special education as a profession. In 1922, at its inaugural meeting, the founders of CEC identified as one of the primary aims of the organization the establishment of professional standards.

CEC has embraced this responsibility and has been a leader among education associations in the development of Ethical Principles, Professional Practice Standards, and Preparation Standards. CEC has and continues to use a research-based collaborative process that ensures that its standards are current, research-based, and fully address the knowledge and skills special educators must master.

What Every Special Educator Must KnowWhat Every Special Educator Must Know, known as The Red Book, details the ethics and standards for special education preparation and practice, outlining the critical knowledge and skill sets for every special education professional. The 7th edition is available now!


Standards for Professional Preparation

CEC Professional Preparation Standards define the specialized expertise special educators must master for the safe and effective practice of special education at the initial and advanced levels. These standards are used to inform preparation programs, accreditation organizations, and credentialing agencies.


Ethical Principles & Practice Standards

As professionals serving individuals with exceptionalities, special educators have a special purpose endowed by the community and recognized by a professional credential. As such, special educators have a responsibility to be guided by their Ethical Principles and Professional Practice Standards.


Paraeducator Preparation Standards

Special education paraeducators have become an essential member of the special education team. The CEC Paraeducator Development Standards ensure paraeducator programs address validated knowledge and skills.


Evidence-based Practices Resources

CEC Evidence-based Practice Studies are systematic analyses of the research on a practice to determine the quality of the evidence so that practicing special educators have a trusted source of reliable information.