Teacher shortages continue to increase across the state despite small progress made last session via legislation that would allow alternative certification for special education teachers through the use of a “boot camp.”
Since the state Board of Education approved the boot camps in the spring, the department has approved five providers and offered two boot camps itself, serving just over 100 participants.
Per state law, participants in the boot camp are required to take 120 hours of class time, most being done in the evenings and on Saturdays, and complete 30 hours of field experience.
These boot camps were started as a way to address the shortage in the number of special education teachers throughout the state and the lessened number of students in college teaching programs.
During the board’s most recent meeting, Tricia Hansen, a special education specialist at the State Department of Education, delivered a report on the progress of Oklahoma’s non-traditional route to special education certification, in which she noted 35 participants have completed the training and have received their provisional certificates.
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