The revision of the University of Maryland Special Education Department 5-year undergraduate teacher preparation program is described. For 20 years this 5-year program has had a categorical disability focus, preparing special educators to work with students across a wide range of ages and grades. A recent program graduate's reflections on her first year of teaching illuminate key issues addressed in revising our program to focus on multicategorical special education teacher preparation across a more refined age/grade base. Key issues include collaboration and coordination between general and special education, development of professional communities, and preparation of teachers to be change agents involved in school stewardship. Feedback from professionals in the field, research on school reform and best practices, and review of professional standards also informed our shift to multicategorical preparation. Key program components include: selective admissions, 3 years of intensive field placements and internship integrated with university coursework, selection of a multicategorical age-based specialization, and opportunity to earn graduate credit while completing the undergraduate program.
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