DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
DURATIONAL SHORTAGE AREA PERMIT (DSAP)
Students enrolled in special education are often confused by the Durational Shortage Area Permit (DSAP) process and the role of the department of special education and the Dean’s office of the School of Education and Professional Studies in this process. The following information clarifies this confusion.
What is a Durational Shortage Application Permit (DSAP)?
A DSAP is a process in which a school district can secure the services of an individual to fill the emergency needs of that district in a designated shortage area. Special education has been identified as a shortage area in Connecticut. Up-to-date information regarding DSAP can be found at the web site of the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Who initiates a DSAP?
The superintendent of a Connecticut school district submits an application to the Connecticut State Department of Education in which s/he indicates a difficulty in hiring a suitable candidate for an available position in special education. A DSAP does not originate with a teacher candidate or from anyone from CCSU.
What are the requirements for a person to work under a DSAP?
A candidate for a DSAP must already possess an undergraduate degree and be currently enrolled in a planned program of study which leads to certification (in the post baccalaureate certification program) or a cross endorsement in special education (in the Master’s strand B program for students certified in other areas of education).
What is the role of CCSU in an individual’s attempt to obtain a DSAP?
The DSAP application contains a section that requests the certification officer at institutions of higher education to verify that an applicant is currently enrolled in a plan of study that leads to certification or cross endorsement in special education. By signing this document, the certification officer is not making any additional commitments other than asserting that the applicant is a student in good standing in a planned program of study that leads to certification in special education.
Can a DSAP experience be used to waive a student teaching experience?
Currently, the Connecticut State Department of Education allows a student teaching experience to be waived if the teacher completes two full years of teaching under a DSAP. This teacher candidate is not considered a program completer at CCSU and is not provided any formal recommendation for certification from CCSU. The certification process is therefore between the individual and the Connecticut State Department of Education. The certification officer at CCSU only signs a recommendation for certification if a teacher candidate completes all required courses in the planned program of study as stipulated by CCSU.
Are There Any Circumstances In Which A Teacher in a DSAP Can Complete Their Program of Study at CCSU?
In the post-baccalaureate certification program in special education, there are currently two required student teaching experiences. These two experiences must include a placement involving students with differing disabilities, elementary and secondary and urban/rural settings. If a student meets with the certification officer at CCSU (assistant dean), s/he can request that a DSAP teaching of one year be used to substitute for the second student teaching experience only if they are supervised by a university supervisor and enroll in a course designated for student teachers. This substitution for a second student teaching must be in writing and placed in the student’s advisor’s file with the specific requirements.
What is the Opinion of the Faculty in the Department of Special Education regarding a Teacher Candidate Who Desires to Teach Under a DSAP?
The faculty in the Department of Special Education is neutral regarding a teacher candidate’s decision to teach under a DSAP. We would emphasize that it involves a deviation from the planned program developed by the faculty and that teacher candidates be aware of the risks and guidelines in making this decision.
Are there any areas of caution about which I should be aware if I am considering teaching under a DSAP?
Definitely! Based on a letter from Commissioner Sergi, individuals teaching under a DSAP are not considered fully qualified teachers as defined by the “No Child Left Behind” legislation. Students are urged to carefully weigh the benefits and shortcomings of teaching under a DSAP to their own career. There is a shortage of qualified teachers in special education. However, school districts are required to send notice to parents when a qualified teacher is not currently teaching their child.