SPED Student Council Presents at International Conference

Published: September 23, 2020 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

This past February, Southern Utah University’s Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) chapter presented at an international conference in Portland, Oregon. This is the second year SUU’s chapter has presented at the annual Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Convention & Expo. This year SUU had presentations by eight undergraduates majoring in special education (SPED) and three professors in education.

About the Conference

The CEC is, “a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children and youth with exceptionalities.” Established in 1922, the CEC prides itself on evidence-based resources for special education professionals. The CEC Convention & Expo is a yearly event for special educators around the globe.

Aside from looking great on a resume, the CEC conference unites special educators, building a place of professional belonging in a sometimes isolating career. SUU’s College of Education and Human Development supported students who wanted to attend by paying part of the cost. Attendees from SUU were only expected to pay for flights and meals.

“I decided to join SCEC to dip my toes in a lifelong group of special educators,” said Christi Kooyman, SUU student majoring in special education. “It is the biggest resource that I use for information pertaining to special education issues.”

About the Students

SUU students presented on a variety of topics at the conference. Elizabeth Boucher’s project was about how teachers work with students who have experienced multiple adverse childhood experiences.

“The most important thing I learned from it was that having experienced trauma is not a life sentence,” Boucher said. “There is always hope that those students who have or are continuing to have difficult situations in their lives are capable of overcoming those trials and finding success and joy in life.”

Christi Kooyman is planning to teach students who are deaf and hard of hearing. She feels greatly supported in her career and her student-teaching because of support from her professors, attending this conference, and being a member of SCEC at SUU.

“The conference was such a cool experience to have as an undergrad and preservice teacher that not many people get,” Kooyman said.

Southern Utah University offers several pathways to licensure for students interested in special education. Learn more about special education at SUU.

Tags: Teacher Education College of Education and Human Development

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