Graduate project

The role of the program specialist under the California master plan for special education

This paper deals with one human element of the California Master Plan for Special Education; the program specialist's role. This study suggests that the role of the program specialist, if the position is to be truly effective, is to develop and staff the position with a highly educated resource person having well-developed leadership capabilities in who teachers and others can develop trust and to whom they can turn for expert guidance. This study also suggests a major component of responsibility for the program specialist in the area of prevocational, precareer counseling. For this purpose, it is necessary that program specialists be required to take courses and develop competencies that relate to this area. A significant finding of this survey is that a majority of the program specialists favor additional roles for themselves including central office liaison, child advocacy, parent counseling and responsibility for selection of materials and instructional media. The ultimate purpose of this study was to suggest a redefinition, if necessary, of the job description of the program specialist so that persons in the position can better help meet the goals of special education , and the special education program objectives.

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