The best way for students to start building a professional network while enrolled in a special education program is to pursue a NASET membership. The National Association of Special Education Teachers is the largest professional organization serving special education professionals in the United States and around the world, even as they complete a college program preparing them to take the lead in a special education classroom. The many unique benefits of NASET make it a must-have for students who intend to find a job after graduation and want to network with more seasoned professionals as they strive to help their special needs students succeed.
A Student-Centered Membership is Available for a Discounted Rate
Like most student-professional organizations, the National Association of Special Education Teachers offers a specific student membership at a discounted rate. Students who are currently enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate special education program can receive the discounted rate, which currently amounts to $50 for a one-year membership and $85 for a two-year membership to NASET. The student membership gives students full access to all of the association’s latest research, published reports and journals, and even a job board full of special education openings in states across the country.
It’s up to students to enroll in a membership plan with the organization, and it’s up to students to renew their one-year or two-year membership commitment when necessary. The organization offers a complete transition to full, non-student membership upon graduation. This gives students the added networking potential they need to find connections in the education field and land their first special education teaching job.
The Benefits: A Plethora of Tools and Perks for Educators
In addition to a wealth of research and published journals, the National Association for Special Education Teachers also offers discounted insurance products; a vast array of classroom activities, worksheets, planners, and discussion ideas; and special handouts that educators can give to parents when conferences are requested. In addition to the professional network that most students use when searching for jobs, the NASET website also allows teachers to communicate with each other for ideas, inspiration, support, and much more.
The organization’s flexibility for non-student professionals goes well beyond these resources. The organization offers different tiers of membership based on how, or if, a special education teacher is employed. NASET distinguishes between employed special education teachers and “affiliated” special educators who currently hold a degree in the field but do not teach in a classroom. NASET also offers a school administrator membership that serves as an important way to keep administrators and principals aware of the latest developments in special education.
NASET Student Membership is an Important Gateway for Future Educators
Most students are on a tight budget while they work on their education, but there are a few expenses that are worth every dollar. Membership in the National Association of Special Education Teachers is just such an expense. With a wealth of tools and networks that can provide inspiration, support, and employment for today’s special education students and recent graduates, membership in this association just makes sense.
Furthermore, the cost of membership represents one of the few collegiate expenses that will likely provide a high return on investment as students begin their student teaching placement and start considering how they’ll translate their campus experiences to classroom successes. With a NASET membership, students and professionals will gain the support they need to transform a special education classroom for the better.