CEC Initial and Advanced Specialty Sets

The CEC Specialty Sets delineate the essential knowledge and skills that beginning special education professionals must possess to be ready to begin their practice in specific areas. The Specialty Sets, often called the Knowledge and Skill Sets, were the first sets of standards developed by CEC, beginning in 1984.  In the last thirty years, CEC has developed 11 initial and 12 advanced Specialty Sets that reflect different disability areas, different state licensure structures and the many advanced roles available for special educators.   

The Specialty Sets are used to inform the CEC Preparation Standards. This means that all special education preparation programs will use either the Initial or Advanced CEC Preparation Standards as informed by the appropriate Specialty Set as they develop their curriculum and create performance assessments to demonstrate that their candidates have mastered the standards.

For guidance selecting the appropriate specialty set for a preparation program see the Specialty Sets for Initial Preparation Programs Flowchart or the Specialty Sets for Advanced Preparation Programs Flowchart.

Initial Specialty Sets

Initial Common Specialty Items

Initial Specialty Set: Blind and Visually Impaired

Initial Specialty Set: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Initial Specialty Set: Deafblindness

Initial Specialty Set: Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Initial Specialty Set: Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention

Initial Specialty Set: Emotional and Behavior Disorders

Initial Specialty Set: Individualized General Curriculum

Initial Specialty Set: Individualized Independence Curriculum

Initial Specialty Set: Individualized General Curriculum & Individualized Independence Curriculum, Combined

Initial Specialty Set: Learning Disabilities Specialty Set

Initial Specialty Set: Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities

Advanced Specialty Sets

Advanced Common Specialty Items

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Academic Intervention Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Administration Specialist Set

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Behavior Intervention Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Diagnostician Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education/Early Intervention in Early Childhood Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Inclusion Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Learning Disabilities Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Technology Specialist

Advanced Specialty Set: Special Education Transition Specialist

 

Gifted Education Professional Preparation Standards

For over a decade the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the CEC Association for the Gifted (TAG) have worked collaboratively to develop standards for the preparation of gifted education professionals at the initial and advanced levels. In 2012, NAGC and CEC revised and re-ordered the Gifted Standards to align with new Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Guidelines for Standards.

The standards writing group decided to maintain the 7 standard and 28 element format and did not revise the previous Specialty Set of knowledge and skill items for gifted educators. However, throughout the entire process, NAGC and CEC were careful to ensure that the realigned standards contained all of the substantive knowledge and skills that are relevant to effective practice in gifted education and continued to emphasize diversity. (Johnsen, et al, in press).  These preparation standards were approved by CAEP in 2013 and are intended to be used for national recognition of all initial and advanced gifted education programs seeking national recognition through the CAEP and NAGC program review process. There is not an additional Specialty Set for gifted and talented educator preparation.

Gifted Education Professional Preparation Standards

 

Validation of CEC Specialty Sets

The CEC Knowledge and Skill Specialty Sets delineate the professionally agreed upon specialized knowledge and skills for beginning practice in either an initial or advanced special education specialized area. The development and validation of a Specialty Set is a collaborative effort among the CEC Professional Practice and Standards Committee, the CEC Knowledge and Skills Subcommittee, a CEC Division-appointed Validation Team, and the CEC Staff Liaison.

The CEC Specialty Set Validation Manual can be found here.

A Word version of the document for validation teams can be found in the CECommunity group for the Knowledge & Skills Subcommittee here. Only reported K&SS representatives have access to this document.