Oregon’s Heceta Head Lighthouse, built in 1894, is the most photographed lighthouse in the world. Its light is visible for 21 nautical miles making it the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. Oregon joined CEEDAR with the 2015 cohort and is working on reform related to equity and culturally responsive practices for all educators. Part of Oregon’s work involves shining a different light on improving the preparation of education administrators to better address the needs of students with disabilities. The state team includes the Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, Portland State University, The University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, and Marylhurst University. This original core team is expanding to include additional institutions of higher education (IHEs), the Oregon Professors of Education Administration (ORPEA), and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA).
As Oregon shines a light on leadership and preparing principals to meet the needs of all students, Marc Shelton, professor of education and director of the Administrative Licensure Program at George Fox University, describes the unique endeavor to infuse special education content and practice into leadership preparation. Faculty members at George Fox University, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and COSA are creating modules to enable leaders to meet the needs of all students, including students with disabilities. After the faculty members complete the modules, they will initially embed them into courses in educational leadership programs at four IHEs with the long-term goal of expanding module use at other institutions across the state. Formatted similarly to CEEDAR’s Course Enhancement Modules (CEMs), these modules address key special education topics. Additionally, the modules will emphasize evidence-based practices (EBPs) related to designing and supporting inclusive schools for all students.
The Oregon team is using the CEEDAR partnership as an opportunity to bridge the gap between research and practice, addressing special education as a critical component of effective school leadership. With the assistance of the CEEDAR Center, Shelton states, “what we have from a research standpoint, combined with our expertise, allows us as a state to look to review what we have learned and determine a focus specifically on leadership preparation.”
Although the modules are in the initial stage of development, the state team maintains a focus on sustainability and a commitment to the continual development of leaders. Additionally, Shelton anticipates that the modules could have great utility and reach within and beyond Oregon educational leadership programs. We look forward to sharing these resources with other CEEDAR TA states and making them universally available through our website.