Preparing Nontraditional Adult Teacher Education Candidates to Become Special Education Teachers

Fall 2007

Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, Volume 30, Issue 4 Fall 2007, p. 233-236.

The study evaluated Project RESTART: Recruitment and Retention: Students on Alternative Routes to Teacher Training at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).

The purpose of the project was to enhance the development and implementation through assessment of a model teacher preparation program that was designed to recruit and retain a pool of highly qualified special education teachers from underrepresented teacher candidate groups.
The Participants
The participants were identified as nontraditional adult students if they
(a) had been away from formal schooling for at least 12 months and completed high school 
or earned a graduate equivalency diploma (i.e., GED),
(b) were 24 years of age or older or had completed community college transfer work, or
(c) were employed as school system paraeducators.
The project was assessed in terms of participant satisfaction, graduation rates, and participants' employment data.
Results demonstrated the success of Project RESTART in recruiting and retaining a diverse pool of highly qualified special education teacher candidates, including those from underrepresented groups.  For example, of the 20 Project RESTART graduates, 17 (i.e., 85%) are now teaching in North Carolina.
Updated: Sep. 25, 2008