Personnel Improvement Center
Our Mission:
To increase the nation's capacity to recruit, prepare and retain fully qualified special educators, early intervention and related service providers through knowledge development, technical assistance and dissemination and leadership/coordination.
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 Federal funding for the National Center to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities (Personnel Improvement Center) ended on December 31, 2013, but this website will remain online as a resource. Please use the information here to help facilitate your work in personnel recruitment, preparation and retention, as well as to become better informed about careers in special education, related services and early intervention.

It has been a pleasure serving you in our efforts to provide high quality personnel to the nation’s infants and children with disabilities.


Release of New Document on Federal Investment.  The Personnel Improvement Center partnered with the Higher Education Council for Special Education (HECSE) and the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children(CEC) to produce this informative document, The Federal Investment in Personnel Preparation for Special Educators, which highlights the historical significance and positive impacts of the U.S. Department of Education’s investment in personnel preparation through its Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). An in-depth look at the early development and current implementation of the federal investment in personnel preparation programs and national centers that support this effort, the paper tells the story of OSEP’s important contribution over the years to the production of highly effective special education, early intervention and related services personnel who serve the nation’s infants and children with disabilities. Read the document or download it now by going to this link: The Federal Investment in Personnel Preparation for Special Educators


Guidelines to Increase State Capacity.  The Personnel Improvement Center has released its Guidelines for Building State Capacity to Recruit, Prepare and Retain Qualified Special Education, Early Intervention and Related Services Personnel, a training manual that will assist your state agency in developing the following evidence-based strategies:

  • personnel data management
  • personnel preparation program partnerships
  • effective practices for personnel recruitment and retention

Both essential elements and key components of a comprehensive personnel development program are outlined in detail. Test your state’s readiness using the attached rubric by downloading this helpful step-by-step manual now! Guidelines for Building State Capacity to Recruit, Prepare and Retain Qualified Special Education, Early Intervention and Related Services Personnel

  • PIC Practice Brief Series featured topics that include mentoring, personnel preparation program partnerships and using social media as tools for recruitment, plus much more!  Check out the 2011 series here. 
Stay Informed

Here are two resources from the Iris Center that we believe will be very useful for new educators entering the classroom:

  • A revision of Supporting Beginning Special Educators: Tips for Educational Leaders, Teacher Induction: Providing Comprehensive Training for New Special Educators emphasizes the importance of administrative support for beginning special education teachers. It also demonstrates how teacher support can increase the teacher's effectiveness in the classroom.To view this resource, please go to
  • Teacher Retention: Reducing the Attrition of Special Educators (a revision of our Addressing the Revolving Door: How to Retain Your Special Education Teachers module) highlights the key elements for school administrators who seek to support special educators and increase teacher retention. To get started, please visit

  • Special Education Teaching Means You Can Change a Life This video provides testimonials about the role of special education teachers from student and teacher perspectives. The video also is geared to recruiting male special education teachers.  Watch it here.
  • Building Cross-Sector Professional Development Systems: Check out this two-part series that highlights work in Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin. The participants in the webinar shared how they developed cross-sector early childhood professional development systems that support early childhood personnel.

  • Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction New Teacher Center's recent report on induction and mentoring provides an analysis of all 50 states, highlights leading state policies and offers recommendations.  Read the report here.

Newsletter Archives:

What Are Our Partner Centers Up To?

IDEA PartnershipOne of the PIC’s partner centers, NASDSE’s IDEA Partnership, engaged in collaborative work with more than 50 national organizations, technical assistance providers and agencies at the state and local level.

Spotlight on Educators

School Psychologists Make a Difference Every Day                                               

PIC's latest monthly highlight was on school psychologists.

Art Therapist

Check out this brochure describing a career in school psychology.  This is a great recruitment resource!

The PIC featured a variety of careers in special education, early intervention and the related services. 

The National Center to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Personnel for Children with Disabilities (Personnel Improvement Center). A Cooperative Agreement, H325C080001, between the US Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Project Officer: Maryann McDermott
NASDSE | 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone 703.519.3800 | Fax 703.519.3808