Personnel Improvement Center
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Resources for Best Practice in Recruiting, Preparing and Retaining Personnel

The following initiatives targeted at personnel recruitment and retention and include examples of successful efforts to recruit and retain high quality special educators and related service providers.

Understanding Shortages of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (Dialogue Guide)

Start a dialogue with policymakers, practitioners and educators, the general public, school administrators, and higher education programs on the issue of personnel shortages in your area. The dialogue guide was developed by the NCPSSERS on Understanding Shortages of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel to provide a framework for your discussion.

The New Teacher Center (NTC)-E-mentoring in Practice

The New Teacher Center is a national resource dedicated to teacher development and new teacher training and the support of programs and practices that promote excellence and diversity in America's teaching force. Its work with new teachers results in strong retention trends.

The New Teacher Center partnered with the Personnel Improvement Center and the states of Louisiana and Nevada to design eMSS-SE, an e-mentoring  program for beginning special education teachers. The online program is available to any SEA or LEA that wishes to subscribe. Read more about this innovative initiative. View the PIC-sponsored webinar about this service, featuring Dr. Alyson Mike, director of online professional development for the New Teacher Center, here.

The IRIS Center for Faculty Enhancement, Vanderbilt University-Online Learning Modules and Related Materials

The IRIS Center for Faculty Enhancement has been designed in response to a request from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs for a national effort to ensure that general education teachers, school administrators, school nurses, and school counselors are well prepared to work with students who have disabilities and with their families.

Addressing the Revolving Door: How to Retain Your Special Education Teachers: This module is designed to help frame discussions at the state and local level to address special education teacher retention issues.  Click here to access this module.

Questions and Answers On Highly Qualified Teachers Serving Children with Disabilities

The US Department of Education (DOE)’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has prepared a “question and answer” document on highly qualified teachers serving children with disabilities. This is a great quick reference for clarification of the regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) concerning the requirements for highly qualified special education teachers, that will be helpful as some state education agencies (SEAs) are refining their certification requirements for special education teachers.

National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center)
The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) is a national resource to which the regional comprehensive centers, states, and other education stakeholders turn for strengthening the quality of teaching—especially in high-poverty, low-performing, and hard-to-staff schools—and for finding guidance in addressing specific needs, thereby ensuring highly qualified teachers are serving students with special needs.

National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development (NCIPP)
NCIPP is an OSEP-funded Center which aims to inform special education policy and practice by examining and recommending those policies and practices that improve the retention and quality of beginning special education teachers.

National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services (NCPSSERS)
NCPSSERS is comprised of more than 25 national professional organizations, institutions of higher education and local education agencies that meet bi-monthly to address the national agenda on personnel shortages for all special education-related personnel, including related service providers. To learn more about NCPSSERS and to access the wealth of information available on the website, go to:

The National Center to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities (Personnel Improvement Center). A Cooperative Agreement, H325C080001, between the US Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Project Officer: Maryann McDermott
NASDSE | 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone 703.519.3800 | Fax 703.519.3808