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ERIC Number: ED406107
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Distance Learners Talk Back: Rural Special Educators Evaluate Their Teacher Preparation Program.
Sebastian, Joan P.; And Others
This paper reports on a study evaluating a graduate-level distance education program that provides special education teacher preparation at rural sites throughout Utah. The program was developed by the University of Utah to address problems associated with teacher recruitment and retention in rural areas. The program uses an "integrated" approach that combines interactive telecommunications technology, prerecorded videotaped courses, and on-site instruction and supervision. A survey examined participants' perceptions of program content and delivery as well as information about teacher retention over an 8-year period. Survey responses were received from 54 of 92 individuals who completed a master's degree in education or special education certification through the program between 1988 and 1996. The average age of respondents was 45 years; all but three were employed in the field of education, the majority being employed in special education; and all respondents had remained in rural settings since completion of the program. Respondents indicated that the most valuable program components were behavior management skills, information on legal issues in special education, and on-the-job-training. They also valued on-site support from university program staff and the opportunity to access the program in their local community. With regard to program delivery, respondents indicated a preference for live on-site instruction, with videotaped courses supported by an on-site facilitator as the next preferred delivery mode. Respondents felt that the most critical challenges confronting rural special education pertain to financial support for local special education programs and educating students with more severe and complex needs in rural school districts. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A