With the urgency for educational reform echoing across the nation, the CEEDAR Center stands as a catalyst for change, spearheading initiatives that are revolutionizing how we educate students with disabilities. The Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, led by the University of Florida since 2013, is dedicated to enhancing teaching and school leadership for students with disabilities across the United States. The Center provides tailored support to state education departments and collaborates with educator preparation programs to cultivate effective teachers and leaders capable of preparing students with disabilities for college and career success.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs has been a significant supporter of CEEDAR, having invested $46.5 million in the initiative. With marked success over the past decade, CEEDAR received an additional $17.5 million in funding in 2022 to sustain its technical assistance efforts until 2027. This funding boost reflects the government’s recognition of CEEDAR’s impact and continued commitment to enhancing education for students with disabilities.

Over the past several months, Katy Chapman, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of Early Childhood Studies and an affiliate of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, has been collaborating with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the CEEDAR Center to create a professional development webinar series. Her expertise in early childhood education directly contributes to CEEDAR’s efforts to enhance teaching practices and school leadership for students with disabilities. 

By integrating the four areas of high-leverage practice into the webinar series, including Collaboration, Assessment, Social/Emotional/Behavioral, and Instruction, Chapman’s webinar series ensures that early childhood educators are equipped with essential tools and strategies to support diverse learners effectively. This collaboration underscores CEEDAR’s commitment to providing tailored support and resources to educators across various educational settings, contributing to improved outcomes for students with disabilities.

The webinar series spearheaded by Chapman and her collaborators is provided free of charge, ensuring accessibility to educators nationwide. This initiative not only addresses the financial barriers often associated with professional development but also serves as a crucial bridge to filling gaps in educators’ knowledge and skills. By making the webinar series widely available, CEEDAR and its partners are fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional growth within the education community, enhancing the quality of instruction and support provided to students.

The CEEDAR Center remains dedicated to enhancing education for students with disabilities. Collaborative efforts, exemplified by initiatives such as Chapman’s, aim to improve teaching practices, particularly in early childhood education. Through innovative programs like the free webinar series on high-leverage practices, CEEDAR is breaking barriers to professional development and fostering continuous learning. As CEEDAR continues to innovate and collaborate, its influence on education promises to grow, shaping a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape for all students.

More information about the webinar series is available on the Council for Exceptional Children’s website.

Katy Chapman, Ph.D.