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ERIC Number: ED537788
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 58
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 38
Assessing Trends in Leadership: Special Education's Capacity to Produce a Highly Qualified Workforce. 2011 Final Report: Narrative
Smith, Deborah Deutsch; Montrosse, Bianca Elizabeth; Robb, Susan Mortorff; Tyler, Naomi Chowdhuri; Young, Christopher
Claremont Graduate University (NJ1)
For over 25 years, independent researchers have warned of an impending shortage of the special education (SE) faculty who staff the nation's institutions of higher education (IHEs). "The 2001 Faculty Shortage Study" (Smith, Pion, Tyler, Sindelar, & Rosenberg, 2001), which documented the imbalance between the supply of and demand for SE leadership (doctoral) personnel, raised awareness of this issue and was the first project funded to study the multidimensional nature of the shortage. After 10 years, the time was right to build upon the decade-old findings of "The Faculty Shortage Study." The information gathered through the current Special Education Faculty Needs Assessment (SEFNA) project adds to the understanding regarding the connections between the supply of doctoral graduates who select SE teacher education programs for their careers and the available supply of highly qualified teachers who provide services to students with disabilities and their families. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded the SEFNA project. This publication represents the final report of a four-year effort to determine whether the nation's SE enterprise had sufficient capacity and infrastructure to produce a highly qualified workforce to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities and their families. Central to this study were questions such as does the faculty shortage documented in "The Faculty Shortage Study" remain, has the profile of doctoral programs changed, what are the characteristics of programs producing SE teachers, what demographic shifts have occurred in students currently in the doctoral pipeline and recent doctoral graduates, and how does the OSEP leadership preparation program contribute to the supply of doctoral students in SE? The authors were surprised by many of their findings. They believe that these results will inform the nation's policymakers and SE community of the actions that need to be taken to ensure sufficient infrastructure and national capacity to abate an impending faculty shortage of overwhelming magnitude. This shortage will impair the ability of schools to provide an appropriate education to students with disabilities because a shortage of teacher educators will result in a further shortage of well-prepared teachers. Study Design and Methodology are appended. (Contains 7 figures, 11 tables and 5 footnotes.)
Claremont Graduate University. School of Educational Studies, 150 East Tenth Street, Claremont, CA 91711. Tel: 909-621-8000; Fax: 909-621-8734; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: Claremont Graduate University