State Board of Education Approves State’s 16th Special Education Transition to Teaching Program
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Deputy Director of Communications
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) received an update on the development of the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (Indiana GPS) dashboard. This update provided a first public look of the dashboard as the department prepares to launch the first phase later this fall.
Additionally, the SBOE approved a new educator preparation program in the high-need area of special education, and also highlighted Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Indiana’s JobSpark expo, which helps eighth grade students explore and engage in a range of career pathways.
Indiana GPS The Indiana GPS demonstration, which can be viewed here, showcased the dashboard’s main landing page, as well as the design of the statewide infographic page and district- and school-level summary pages. The dashboard’s main landing page will tell the story of why specific knowledge and skill development matter for a student’s long-term success and where Indiana students are today. This landing page will explain the context and lay the foundation for the meaning behind the dashboard’s key data points.
“As we prepare to launch the Indiana GPS dashboard, our focus has been on listening to educators, families, communities and employers on how we can build the best learner-centered, future-focused resource that displays how our students are building the necessary knowledge and skills – in all grades and in all schools,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “From the beginning, this work has been based on the principle that students are so much more than just a single test score – and that a student’s entire educational journey shapes their path. Supported by Indiana GPS, we want to empower everyone with the tools and resources they need to prepare our youngest Hoosiers for a lifetime of success.”
Over the coming months, schools will receive a password-protected link to view their pages on the dashboard and validate their data before the dashboard’s public launch.
New Special Education Transition to Teaching Program In addition to the Indiana GPS update, the SBOE approved Taylor University as a new transition to teaching provider in special education. Transition to teaching programs allow bachelor’s degree holders to complete education-focused courses in order to expedite their transition into a teaching role.
With the approval of this new program, the SBOE has now approved 16 special education transition to teaching programs – up from seven programs just a year ago – creating more opportunities than ever for individuals to start teaching students in special education.
This approval follows the SBOE’s approval earlier this year of a new alternative route license in special education. In alignment with federal requirements, this new licensure allows special education teachers previously working on an emergency permit to continue serving in Indiana classrooms while completing their professional educator license.
Additionally, Indiana’s Special Education Assisted Licensure (I-SEAL) initiative, which funds streamlined coursework to help educators complete requirements for special education licensure, has now provided assistance to more than 600 current and future special education teachers.
JA JobSpark The SBOE met today in conjunction with JA JobSpark, a two-day career expo that connects more than 10,900 eighth grade students with hands-on career exploration and engagement opportunities in a wide range of industries.
“We know that when it comes to preparing students for a dynamic future, their opportunities are maximized when we have all partners coming together at the table,” said Jenner. “Business and community leaders play a key role alongside our schools in illuminating the range of opportunities available after graduation – igniting a sense of purpose for our students. It’s never been more important for students to have access to explore, engage and experience a wide range of careers, and Junior Achievement JobSpark is an important leader in this work for Indiana.”
Now in its seventh year, JA JobSpark has helped more than 56,000 students engage with hundreds of companies across the region, where they learn about in-demand careers and engage with real equipment used across those professions. With this experience, students will gain a clearer view of the classes and opportunities they should pursue in high school, including work-based learning and high-value credentials.
This event aligns with the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) focus on helping all students pursue career pathways, with the goal of graduating high school with a high-value postsecondary credential or certification. To support this goal, earlier this year IDOE awarded more than $57 million in grants to 97 schools and community partners, including Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, to support their work to strengthen, expand and create effective career pathways throughout students’ K-12 learning.