ERIC Number: ED381311
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Preparing Rural Educators of Students with Severe Disabilities: Summer Institutes and Ongoing Support.
Demchak, MaryAnn; Cheney, Christine O.
Due to changes in certification and a shortage of special education teachers, school districts in rural Nevada frequently employ special education teachers who have not been trained to teach students with severe or multiple disabilities or serious emotional disturbances. A recent survey of 271 special education teachers and administrators in northern Nevada identified a wide range of training needs. To address these needs, the University of Nevada, Reno, developed Project PRESS (PReparing Educators of Students with Severe Disabilities), a 2-week on-campus summer institute that is organized according to eight quality indicators of educational programs for severely disabled students, that offers rural educators two graduate credits, and that provides follow-up services tailored to their schools. In two summers, the institutes have been attended by 58 special education teachers, general education teachers, and related service providers. Institutes focus on inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes, involvement of families in decision making, integration of specialized services into ongoing educational activities, and promotion of meaningful participation in community settings. As a key feature of the institutes, participants may request follow-up services: either inservice training to an entire staff or individualized on-site consultation to assist in implementation of newly learned concepts. Participants have requested 20 follow-up visits, impacting over 100 additional school personnel and parents. Evaluations suggest that the summer institutes influence participants' subsequent performance, skills, and attitudes. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nevada; Training Needs
Note: In: Reaching to the Future: Boldly Facing Challenges in Rural Communities. Conference Proceedings of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (Las Vegas, Nevada, March 15-18, 1995); see RC 020 016.