CELL launches Indiana Special Education Assisted Licensure (I-SEAL) to list of education initiatives

A new licensing assistance program will meet the significant need for special education teachers in Indiana. In partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, CELL is managing a funded licensing assistance program for post-baccalaureate programs of study that enables teachers to become fully licensed to teach special education in Indiana. I-SEAL utilizes streamlined programming eliminating excess requirements to ensure rapid completion of licensing requirements for teachers.

In a statement shared by Carey Dahncke, Executive Director of CELL, he describes the background of the creation of I-SEAL. “As Indiana works to recover from the academic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our most vulnerable students in K-12 special education programs find themselves without a qualified teacher. In response to this rapidly growing shortage of special education teachers in schools, we’ve created a program that offers direct assistance to teachers, schools and principals. This program helps to train and license teachers who work with our state’s students with special needs. And, what makes this program unique, is that there is no cost to the schools or the teachers. We’ve streamlined the processes, so prospective special education teachers can accelerate their entry into the workplace, while working directly with the students who are most in need.”

I-SEAL will offer three programming tracks.  

  1. Currently licensed teachers who wish to add special education to their existing license will have an opportunity to participate in a fully-funded 18 credit hour graduate program.  Upon completion, they will be eligible for a special education license, pending a passing score on the state licensing exam.  
  2. A limited number of unlicensed teachers who wish to earn a special education teacher license and currently hold a bachelor’s degree will be eligible to enroll in a fully-funded Transition to Teaching program (T2T).  
  3. Individuals who have completed a special education preparation program but have been unable to pass the state licensing exam will have the opportunity to participate in special test-prep workshops to assist in obtaining the licensure cut score on the exam.    

The programs will pay for the coursework as well as the textbooks associated with each course.  Continued enrollment will be based upon continuous successful course completion. 

Visit IndianaSEAL.org for more details and how to apply for each higher education partner.

I-SEAL will also provide a scholarship assistance program for teachers currently enrolled in a special education licensure program other than that offered by I-SEAL. Awarded scholarships will subsidize the cost of completion. Prospective special education teachers who have completed necessary coursework for licensure but have failed to pass the licensing test once can apply for workshops designed to aid in understanding test-taking.

This program is funded in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, which is using federal Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund II dollars and Part B of Indiana’s Individuals with Disabilities Act funding to help special education teachers earn full licensure.

In a statement from Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education, “Indiana’s educators are difference-makers for our students, and we need more of these difference-makers in our classrooms. That’s especially the case in high-need areas like special education,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Through this initiative, statewide partners are coming together to provide Indiana’s current and future special education educators with access to convenient, accelerated options and key financial support, so that they, in turn, can continue supporting our Hoosier students daily.”

CELL’s multi-pronged approach to changing the education landscape of Indiana is producing results. The University of Indianapolis through CELL and its partners continually work to be a resource for awareness, exploration, and in-depth, innovative school transformation by remaining focused on educational excellence and achievement for all students.

CELL has significant experience facilitating successful education initiatives within areas of need across Indiana.  Based upon prior experiences providing teachers with programs to accelerate and support teacher credentialing, CELL has a reputable reputation.  CELL is recognized with dual credit credentialing strides with STEM teach and Teach Dual Credit Indiana. The organization’s newest initiative, I-SEAL will mirror many of the successful elements that have been developed across the thriving dual credit credentialing programs. 

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About the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning

Created in 2001, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis is focused on all children graduating from high school fully prepared for success in postsecondary education and the 21st-century workforce. The Center has generated $57 million in funding to support its work as the leader for innovative education change in Indiana. CELL provides leadership that is both cutting-edge and action-oriented. Via partnerships with international, national, and local education leaders and organizations, CELL unites districts, schools, communities, universities, and businesses to build a sense of urgency and form innovative collaborations for statewide educational and economic improvement.