Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 542]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 10/31/2015
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10/28/15  6:22 pm
Commenter: Radford University Professional Education Committee: SPED faculty

Regarding Special Education: General Curriculum Add-on Endorsements: 8VAC-20-542-510–8VAC20-542-530

We appreciate the option for licensed general education teachers to seek an additional endorsement in Special Education: General Curriculum K-6, 6-8, or 6-12 and applaud this possibility. However, we have concerns about the selection of coursework. The proposed regulations place an emphasis on the foundations of special education. Licensed general education teachers should already have an introduction to special education course completed (at least those who received initial licensure in Virginia). We feel other coursework would be more beneficial to the teachers and their K-12 students. Two options relate to:

  1. Classroom management and behavior support: A glaring omission is the lack of coursework related to behavior support and classroom management. In language related to the “typical” K-12 special education: general curriculum license, it appears there was emphasis added to classwork related to behavior support and classroom management, which is not present at all in the language related to the add-on endorsements.
  2. Collaboration: The add-on endorsements don’t address coursework in collaboration, which is required in the “typical” K-12 special education: general curriculum license.

We suggest removing the requirement for coursework in foundations of special education and adding a requirement addressing classroom management and positive behavior support. If two courses were added, we suggest coursework related to collaboration.

We have a question regarding how the add-on endorsements relate to provisional licensure in special education. To explain we provide the following scenario: a student completes a degree with licensure in either K-6, 6-8, 6-12 general education (not special education) and as part of the degree they complete a Special Education Foundations Course. A school division then hires this graduate provisionally as a special educator. Could this graduate take only 12 hours of coursework under the new regulations and receive the add-on endorsement or would they still have to meet the 27 hours currently required for provisional licensure? The regulation as written requires clarification.