Throughout the United States, the number of teachers qualified to support students with special needs is declining. In Nebraska, school leaders are concerned the shortage will put those students at risk for compromised learning and growth.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers are working to understand which factors influence preparation and retention of special education teachers, including available professional development opportunities.

Amanda Witte and HyeonJin Yoon, research assistant professors at the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, are working with the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Special Education to learn about experiences of special education teachers.

Witte and Yoon surveyed a sample of Nebraska’s special education teachers in fall 2020 to investigate available teacher preparation programs, in-service teacher supports and the connection between supports and

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