Research Focus Areas

The COPSSE Library contains all of the COPSSE documents. However, to streamline your search, we also have organized our research documents by topics—alternative certification, certification and licensure, related services, supply and demand, teacher preparation quality, and teacher quality. For each of these research focus areas, we have provided links to related COPSSE research documents.

Alternative Certification

More than 25,000 special education teachers prepare through alternative routes each year. Alternative certification routes are designed to provide entry into the teaching profession to individuals who otherwise would have limited access. COPSSE research guides policymaker decision making on the cost effectiveness and outcomes of alternative certification routes.

Certification and Licensure

Licensure refers to the credentials that states or comparable jurisdictions issue to qualified school personnel. At a time when the profession is faced with significant special education personnel shortages and is considering alternative certification routes, an understanding of special education licensure is essential. COPSSE research helps inform discussions at state and district levels.

Related Services

For many students with disabilities, related services are an essential element of their individualized education program. However, there is a growing shortage of qualified school-based related services personnel, especially in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology, and school psychology. COPSSE research provides a look at effective preparation practices for school-based related service providers.

Supply and Demand

There is a severe and chronic shortage of qualified special education personnel—including teachers, administrators, and related service providers. COPSSE research analyzes current trends and offers suggestions for recruiting and retaining qualified professionals.

Teacher Preparation Quality

Being well-prepared matters. Yet, preparing effective special education teachers is not an easy task—and there is no single best way to do it. COPSSE links you to research on effective preparation.

Teacher Quality

Exemplary special education teachers can make a difference in student achievement and growth. COPSSE researchers are studying beginning special education teachers and the impact they have on student learning and behavior.