In today’s diverse world with an array of different individuals, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) strives to meet the needs of those with disabilities and those with gifts and special talents. The CEC is the world’s largest professional organization committed to expanding the scholastic achievement of individuals with special needs or circumstances. It supports relevant administrative policies, offers professional development for educators and others involved in the lives of children, establishes professional standards, and helps professionals and organizations attain helpful resources for people with exceptionalities.
- Online MSEd in Special Education (Ranked #11 Best Online Master’s in Special Education Program by U.S. News & World Report 2021)
- Online Master of Science in Special Education
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Special Education (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Moderate to Severe (ITL); M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
History and Achievements of the CEC
A group of administrators established the CEC in 1922 as the International Council for the Education of Exceptional Children. Its name was changed to the Council for Exceptional Children in 1958. The organization established various awards during the 1960s, such as the CEC Outstanding Public Service Award. The council helped pass the Education For All Handicapped Children Act in 1975. In the 1980s, the CEC established more awards, like the CEC Special Education Research Award. Throughout the early 2000s, the CEC released studies to help improve teaching for exceptional learners as well as improved policies. In 2004, the CEC assisted in the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. And in 2009, the council helped gain full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In 2012, it launched its new website to provide special education teachers with innovative online access to the organization’s resources and products. And in 2013, it introduced CECommunity to offer special education teachers an online space to communicate with each other.
CEC’s Fundamental Principles
Since its founding, the CEC maintains three distinct core values, including visionary, integrity, and inclusiveness. Its vision is demonstrated by progressive and bold decision making committed to superiority and inspiration in a changing environment. Integrity is shown by ethical, receptive behavior, and accountability. Inclusiveness is demonstrated by a dedication to diversity, compassion, and respect for all types of individuals.
CEC Public Policy
The CEC strives to progress public policy that influences children with disabilities and special talents or gifts, their parents and caregivers, and professionals who work with them. It studies current policy issues, creates appropriate recommendations, and communications with legislation are the local, state, and national level. The council also examines program regulations and funding and responds accordingly. Also, the CEC maintains a strong network of individuals and organizations in order to modify current policies and pass new ones. The CEC is the well-known frontrunner for advocacy for policies in special education. It has successfully influenced policy and legislation in the special education, gifted education, and general education fields.
CEC Professional Standards
Since 1922, the CEC has adopted effective professional standards and ethics for the special education field. Since it is a known leader for special education professional standards, the CEC establishes standards, practices, and guidelines to make sure that those with exceptionalities have highly trained effective educators. The council works with a variety of other professional organizations to make sure that all teachers and education professionals are very prepared to support the learning of students with disabilities and special gifts and talents. They also make sure all education entities have a strong professional learning atmosphere that helps all individuals learn effectively.
Individuals with disabilities and special gifts or talents deserve to receive the best possible education. The Council for Exceptional Children strives to continuously provide up to date resources and professional development for educators to enable these individuals to reach their maximum potential.