Professional Standards

CEC is the recognized leader for special education professional standards. CEC is committed to ensure that the standards are evidenced-based and will result in well prepared professionals.


At CEC’s first meeting in 1922, the establishment of professional standards for teachers in the field of special education was identified as one of its primary aims (Council for Exceptional Children, 2009). In 2012, CEC revised its initial and advanced standards for the preparation of special educators to ensure that entry-level special educators and special education specialists have the skill and knowledge to practice safely, ethically, and effectively and that practicing special educators have effective mentoring.


DCD (formerly known as DCDD) has recently revised the Initial and Advanced Standards specific to the special education for students who are D/HH. These will be posted on the CEC website soon.

D/HH Initial Standards (Revised 2018)

  1. Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences
  2. Learning Environments
  3. Curricular Content Knowledge
  4. Assessment
  5. Instructional Planning & Strategies
  6. Professional Learning & Ethical Practice
  7. Collaboration

D/HH Advanced Standards (Revised 2018)

  1. Assessment
  2. Curricular Content Knowledge
  3. Programs, Services, & Outcomes
  4. Research & Inquiry
  5. Leadership & Policy
  6. Professional & Ethical Practice
  7. Collaboration