Redesign Initiatives Project for Urban Special Education Teacher Preparation

This five year grant from the U.S. Department of Education (2011-16) will result in the redesign and restructuring of UWM’s special education teacher preparation program at the elementary and middle school level. Presently our teaching candidates complete a one or two year program (depending on background) with evening and summer coursework and extensive field work. Many of our candidates complete the fieldwork requirement “on-the-job” as a UWM-MPS Intern. This Internship Program was designed in 1997 to help address the critical shortage of special educators. 

Our program is guided by UWM’s Urban Mission and emphasizes the essentials needed by an initial special educator including: literacy and math curriculum expertise; a positive and effective behavioral support system; well-designed assessment and progress monitoring systems; the ability to plan, teach lessons, schedule, develop IEPs and accommodations; and a collaborative approach with parents and educators to achieve meaningful student outcomes.

The initiatives of this project will further extend our work in these important ways:   

Multiple Pathways to Teaching 

Essential Content and Practices

Clinical Accountability

Connections with our Graduates, Parents and the Community

Integrated Candidate and Program Assessments


Project Briefs & Products


Essential Special Education Practices. (2012). Winn, J. & Ford, A.

The edTPA for Elementary/Middle Educators: Expectations for Meeting the Needs of
Students with Disabilities. (2013). Puhach, M., Mukhopadhyay, A., Ford, A., Rigoni, K., Winn, J.

Identifying & Integrating Essential Special Education Practices for Urban Special Education Teachers. (2013). Winn, J. & Ford, A.