Special Education Coursework Now Required in Teacher Preparation

February 06, 2017

Teacher with young students

Bill Number: A2786/S1474

Description: Requires teacher preparation program for instructional certificate to include certain amount of instruction or clinical experience in special education and for students with disabilities endorsement to include credit hours in autism spectrum disorder

A new law recently passed requires special education course work as standard in teacher preparation. Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-29) and Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14) have been leaders on this issue. An earlier version of the bill included autism, and Senator Ruiz and Assemblyman Benson worked with Autism New Jersey to ensure that teacher prep programs would also include evidence-based instructional practices.

As passed, the law now requires those seeking an instructional certificate as a “teacher of students with disabilities” include credit hours in autism spectrum disorder and comprehensive evidence-based instructional practices to address the “educational strengths and needs of students with autism” in particular.

We are grateful to Senator Ruiz and Assemblyman Benson for their leadership and to all the legislative sponsors for helping to ensure the next generation of teachers are prepared to address the complex needs of students with autism.

Thank Our Legislators

Does this bill make a difference to you? Thank the sponsors for making it happen!

  • Senator  M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29)
  • Assemblyman  Daniel R. Benson (D-14)
  • Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter (D-35)
  • Assemblywoman  Marlene Caride (D-36)
  • Assemblywoman  Angela V. McKnight (D-31)
  • Assemblywoman  Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37)
  • Assemblywoman  Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29)
  • Assemblyman  Benjie E. Wimberly (D-35)