Increasing the dialogue among stakeholders in New Jersey’s special education system

Governor Christie has signed a measure (S1474) that requires teacher preparation programs to include instruction or clinical experience in special education, and for students with disabilities endorsement to include credit hours in autism spectrum disorders.

The bill passed with broad bi-partisan support and was passed unanimously in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature.
Teacher preparation programs for general education must now include a minimum of the equivalent of 6 semester credit hours of classroom instruction, clinical experience, including student internships, or a combination thereof, in special education.

In addition, teacher preparation programs offering an instructional certificate with a ‘teacher of students with disabilities endorsement,’ will be required to include credit hours in autism spectrum disorder and comprehensive evidence-based instructional practices to address the educational strengths and needs of students with autism.

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