Dr. Vicki Caruana has been the program coordinator for graduate programs in Special Education since her arrival in June 2011.
Having recently completed her doctorate in Special Education, she is current in her field. The programs housed within Special Education include at this time Special Education Generalist (initial license and added endorsement), Early Childhood Special Education (initial license and added endorsement) and a graduate certificate in Autism. The field of special education is still on an upward trend with new job growth in the area of Early Childhood Special Education.
Of the 20 TTE/SEE’s that were approved for special education students in our program this Fall, 75% of them were in early childhood special education. As a result, Vicki has been visiting early childhood special education sites to build partnerships for our growing number of students to observe quality programming for young children with disabilities.
In addition, Vicki has been active in professional organizations to include a presentation at the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) about the attitudes of general educator pre-service teachers toward including students with disabilities in the regular classroom. It was well received and has precipitated additional work in this area.
Vicki is also in the process of re-evaluating each degree plan in special education and revising courses to be current and meet state and national standards.
Finally, the challenge of the special education K-12 license to provide a “variety of experiences for each age/grade, setting and disability” for our students has caused a re-evaluation of how field experiences are structured and accounted for. Her goal is to ensure that this program provides opportunities for students to experience the variety inherent in special education so they can make an informed decision about future teaching opportunities.
An avid writer, Her best-selling book “Apples & Chalkdust” has sold more than 600,000 copies! She has written more than 80 articles and 20 books and is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. Vicki previous authored “Yours, Mine and Our Children: Students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” for the CPS Blog and as of this month, joins our team of monthly faculty contributors. We’re very excited to bring you her new series!