New OKCPS program aims to recruit more teachers in special education

A new Oklahoma City public school program aims to recruit more special education teachers in non-traditional ways.

The program is called Special education training camp and it gives candidates 30 hours of practical training before obtaining their certification.

For 20 years, Erin Trussell has worked with special education students at OKCPS. A job she says she is made for.

“I wanted to go into it from the time I was in high school. I took a course, I was the assistant, I saw students with special needs and I said: “This is what I want to do” “said the director of education. special of the OKCPS.

One thing she notices is the high turnover in her field and the colleges not graduating as many special education teachers. She hopes that a new, non-traditional form of training can help the district retain special education teachers.

“It’s different because you go to class before you go to school. It really shows you what’s going on and then you can go into your course work and use it together, ”she said.

The six-week free program is for people with a bachelor’s degree in any field. Before enrolling, applicants must commit to obtaining a master’s degree or certification in special education.

“For the Oklahoma City public schools, if they stay with us and teach with us, we’ll work with them on reimbursement for these college courses,” Trussell said.

Currently, the district is short of 15 special education teachers, not to mention those who retire at the end of the year.

“Know that it will be a really hard job, but know that it will be the most rewarding job there is,” Trussell said.

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