Higher Education

CEC’s focus on higher education is two-fold: to ensure that youth with disabilities have access to higher education and to ensure that instructions of higher education are preparing special and general educators to address the needs of children and youth with disabilities. 

Guided by this focus, CEC’s policy work has centered on the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), which was last reauthorized – or rewritten – in 2008.  This legislation authorizes the federal government’s major student-aid programs and other postsecondary education initiatives. 

HEOA included many CEC priorities including programs to support a quality higher education for students with disabilities, grant program to provide $4000/year to individuals training to become special education teachers and selected related service professions, and increased focus on training general educators to address the needs of students with disabilities, among other issues.

Our nation relies on a strong higher education system to support a vibrant workforce and to prepare our next generation of educators to meet the challenges of the classroom.

Learn more about HEOA provisions of special interest to CEC members in our executive summary and comprehensive summary, both of which examine the following areas:

  • Teacher Quality Enhancement
  • Accountability in Teacher Education
  • Quality Higher Education for Students with Disabilities
  • Other Amendments Concerning Education of Students with Disabilities

                               SpecEd Research 3

 Higher Ed



Preparing Future Educators to Meet the Needs of Children with Disabilities


Higher Ed Employment

Advancing Higher Education & Employment Opportunities for
Individuals with Disabilities