Development. For her doctoral externship at Virginia Commonwealth University and as a service to Randolph-Macon College, Amber Peacock developed a new Special Education licensure track to submit to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The proposal was reviewed by VDOE and recommended to the Advisory Board for Teacher Education Licensure (ABTEL). ABTEL approved the proposed program on September 23, 2013. VDOE approved the new program on November 21, 2013.
Implementation. The new program was implemented in the Fall semester of 2014. The new curriculum was designed to align with the specific state-required competencies for general curriculum special educators and standards of the Council of Exceptional Children. Students who complete the program will be eligible to receive a Special Education (General Curriculum, K-12) license from the Virginia Department of Education. This license will enable successful candidates to enter teaching at the elementary and secondary levels in Virginia public schools. Students in the program will earn a bachelor’s degree with a major of their choice and a minor in education.
Partnering with Practitioners. SPED preservice teachers partnered with six amazing special educators at Chickahominy Middle School during Spring 2015 for an intensive foundational SPED field experience. The preservice teachers worked with middle schoolers with a wide range of exceptionalities in collaborative, resource, and self-contained settings. So far, preservice teachers have been placed in Hanover, Caroline, and Spotsylvania County Public Schools for field experiences in this program.
Service Learning. Two of the special education classes are developing lessons for Disability Awareness month. Preservice teachers will teach these lessons at Hanover Academy in October of 2015.
Community Connections. Special education administrators, Dr. Emily Snead and Dr. Lauran Ziegler, from Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) presented workshops for preservice teachers on functional behavior analysis, manifest determination, and writing individualized education plans.
Community Service. To stay abreast of current needs and trends in HCPS, Dr. Peacock serves on the Special Education Advisory Committee.
Mentor Cooperating Teacher Grant. Thanks to a grant from VDOE, HCPS partnered with R-MC to train highly qualified mentors for special education and secondary student teachers. Teachers selected to participate in the program participated in a 2-day training session in June 2015. Training for the mentor cooperating teachers will continue during preservice teachers’ student teaching experience.
For more information on the Special Education Track at Randolph-Macon College, check out Dr. Peacock’s newsletter.
Contact: Amber Peacock
P. O. Box 5005
Ashland, VA 23005-5505