Eastern Oregon University > Academics > EOU’s Unique Special Education Program Addresses High Demand in Oregon!

EOU’s Unique Special Education Program Addresses High Demand in Oregon!

EOU’s Unique Special Education Program Addresses High Demand in Oregon!

LA GRANDE, Ore. – In response to the high demand for Special Education teachers in Oregon, EOU proudly offers its Special Education Initial Teacher Licensure (SEITL) Undergraduate hybrid program. The hybrid nature of this program addresses the shortage of SPED teachers in Oregon by making it accessible to potential teacher candidates who are unable to move to La Grande, or those who are already working as school district employees and need to keep their jobs as educational assistants or paraprofessionals. All courses are offered in the early evenings via Zoom to accommodate work schedules.

The special education initial teacher licensure (SEITL) undergraduate program at Eastern Oregon University has just been made more accessible.

“There’s a shortage of special education teachers in the U.S., and especially in rural Oregon,” said SEITL Program Coordinator, Dr. Jerred Jolin. “I’m enthusiastic about this project. I lead the program design because I have firsthand experiences with the positives of helping students with learning differences be successful in the classroom.”

Students who transfer with an AAOT degree, or EOU students who have completed a major in multidisciplinary studies, can earn a bachelor’s degree and receive a preliminary teaching license and special educator endorsement, within two years. With practicums, hands-on experiences, and a focus on supporting students in rural communities, this unique program is designed to make a meaningful impact.

“Getting the licensure at the undergraduate level is the most efficient way to do it,” Jolin said. “It provides an alternative to the previous route for obtaining this training, which required 1.5 years of graduate work.”

For students who are already working as instructional aides or paraprofessionals in special education classrooms, they can satisfy practicum student teaching t requirements in those settings.. Students who are not employed by a school district while in the program work with the College of Education’s Placement Coordinator to identify classroom placements in their Communities.
The SEITL undergraduate hybrid program is open for enrollment for fall 2024. Apply eou.edu/apply or learn more at eou.edu/special-education.