WINONA LAKE – The Grace College School of Education is working to meet the increasing demands of special education.

The institution is expanding its elementary education and mild intervention dual licensure program to enable all special education majors to teach preschool through grade 12 starting with its incoming 2020 class.

 “This license has been an option in the past, but this year we are making the changes necessary to require it of all our special education majors,” said Dr. Cheryl Bremer, dean of the School of Education at Grace College. “This is another way Grace will be part of the solution to the significant and widespread shortage of teachers prepared to meet the complex needs of students with disabilities,” she explained.

 “You never know what the future holds as a teacher,” said Rachel Jensen, Grace alumna and special education teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Winona Lake. “Having the preschool through grade 12 license will make new teachers more marketable and give them greater flexibility in our field. It just makes sense to have it,” she said.

 Special education students at Grace can also participate in the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) chapter on campus which Bremer helped start many years ago. The group promotes professional development, community outreach and disability awareness.

“We have a strong student-led executive board of five to seven leaders of the chapter,” said Bremer. “CEC is a great outlet for our students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it in a way that benefits our campus, our community and their own professional growth as an educator.”

 Additionally, for those who want to work with students with significant disabilities, Grace recently launched its intense intervention graduate licensure online. This 15-hour program is designed for undergraduate students pursuing mild intervention licensure as well as current educators looking to add to their range of skills and experiences. It can be completed in one year.

 Grace is the 11th school in the state to offer this graduate program. With the addition of this licensure, Grace College gives students the option to complete three teaching licenses in as few as four years.

For more information about Grace’s special education programs, contact Program Director Dr. Cheryl Bremer at 574-372-5100, ext. 6146, or bremercl@grace.edu.