More special education teachers may enter the workforce faster under a new plan at the University of Iowa. An official in the U-of-I College of Education says a recent national study found more than four-thousand vacant positions for special-ed teachers and 32-thousand weren’t fully certified.About 30-percent of the special education teachers in Iowa have conditional certification, meaning, they’re not fully trained. Due to the “critical” shortage of fully trained teachers, Professor Gary Sasso says the U-of-I is restructuring its special education department to allow for undergraduates to become certified.The U-of-I had only offered special ed training as a graduate course in the past. Sasso says most elementary education students will still be able to complete their studies in due time and have dual certification in traditional and special education. He says the program won’t take a lot of extra study time for students. Sasso say it should take students four-and-a-half years to complete the full training. The change will be effective in the fall semester. Sasso says they’ll start with 25 students in the dual certification program.
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