BCIES FAQs

NASET / AASEP - Board Certified Inclusive Education Specialist (BCIES) Program

BCIES FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

What is Inclusive Education?

Inclusive education means that all students with disabilities are welcomed and educated along with age-appropriate regular education peers in the same classroom. These students are supported to learn, contribute, and participate in all aspects of the life of the school.

Inclusive education is a philosophy about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, programs, and activities so that all students learn and participate together.

Inclusive education is about ensuring access to quality education for all students. This is done through an awareness and training on diversity and meeting their diverse needs in a way that is responsive, accepting, respectful, and supportive. Students who participate in inclusive education share a common learning environment with support to diminish and remove barriers and obstacles that may lead to exclusion.

Inclusive education:

  • enables each student to fully participate in the learning environment that is designed for all students and is shared with peers in the chosen educational setting;
  • provides a positive climate, promote a sense of belonging and ensure student progress toward appropriate personal, social, emotional and academic goals;
  • enables staff to be responsive to individual learning needs by providing sufficient levels of support and applying student-centered teaching practices and principles.
  • provides a common learning environment: an inclusive environment where instruction is designed to be delivered to students with a variety of abilities and with their peer group in the local school, while teachers and trained staff are responsive to their individual needs as a learner.

What Types of Programs are Included Under Inclusive Education?

Inclusive education programs provide educational services for all students including those with special needs. These programs serve all children in the regular classroom on a full-time basis. If a student requires extra services such as speech therapy, these services are brought into the classroom. This program allows the student to remain in the regular education classroom setting at all times. This program is intended to meet the objectives of IDEA by educating students in the regular classroom while still providing for their unique needs.

There are variables in inclusive education programs, which make a standard definition of inclusion misleading. Full inclusion is described as placing all students, regardless of disabilities and severity, in the regular classroom on a full-time basis. Depending on the severity of the disability, some of these students may not leave the regular classroom for services specified in their IEP while others will go to services outside the classroom. Partial inclusion places students with high incidence disabilities in the inclusive setting along with age appropriate peers. Inclusion or mainstreaming refers to students being educated with peers without disabilities for most of their school day. A special education teacher collaborates with a general education teacher to provide services for students though a variety of techniques. The general education teacher is responsible for instructing all children, even those with an IEP. The special education teacher collaborates with the general teacher on strategies, may teach lessons, and provides assistance to children with IEPs.

Another placement option called Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) places students with disabilities in the general classroom with the special education teacher providing support and assisting the general education teacher in instructing the students. The special education teacher brings materials into the classroom and works with the special student during math or reading instruction. The special education teacher aids the general education teacher in planning different strategies for students with various abilities.

When the IEP team meets to determine the best placement for a child with disabilities, it must consider which placement constitutes the least restrictive environment for the child based on individual needs. The team must determine which setting will provide the child with the appropriate placement. The primary objective of inclusive education is to educate students with disabilities in the regular classroom and still meet their individual needs. Inclusive education allows children with special needs to receive a free and appropriate education along with students without disabilities in the regular classroom.

Why become an Inclusive Education Specialist?

With the increasing demands on the special education community, the goal for children and their parents to receive the best educational experience by the highest qualified teachers are crucial. The growth of inclusive educational programs across the country is on the rise and expertly trained teacher specialists in this area are greatly needed. Bringing children with all types of special needs back to the district and educating them in an inclusive setting requires a level of expertise that can only be provided by someone with extensive training in that area. As a result, an Inclusive Education Specialist would be an incredible asset to any district and provide expertise not available to others in a crucial educational area. Furthermore:

  • Most Master’s degree programs only provide limited courses in the program that focus on inclusive education. That by itself does not provide all the necessary information and training to be an expert in this field. Completing this program elevates you far above most candidates in the level and training in inclusive education that will provide the credentials of expertise.
  • Document your academic achievement in an area of specialized expertise to assist you in advancing your career and possibly moving up the salary schedule
  • Certificates earned are valuable to add to your resume as well as awarded a Certificate Document suitable for framing
  • Develop and update your professional skills and knowledge to make you more effective in your field with in-depth learning
  • Provide expertise in a specific area of study and provide value-added benefits that are highly visible in your organization

Teachers who have met this criteria may want to elevate their expertise in this area of education since today, all schools provide inclusive education and even more schools will be increasing these programs in order to bring students with disabilities back to the home district. Furthermore, completion of this Board Certification program will provide you with a potential advantage when applying for a job in an inclusive setting with specified knowledge skills and abilities.

What Does an Inclusive Education Specialist Do?

The Inclusion Education Specialist’s essential duties and responsibilities may include the following:

  • Having the extensive and comprehensive knowledge in the area of inclusive education allows you to offer workshops, training, and guidance to general education teachers, paraprofessional, staff and parents.
  • Coordinating the development, monitoring, and implementation of Individual Education Programs (IEP) for students in inclusion classrooms.
  • Maintaining accurate and confidential records of all assigned students.
  • Assisting the classroom teacher in "including" the student into the regular education classroom (inclusion model for special education).
  • Working with paraprofessionals to collaborate in the implementation of lesson plans and educational approaches.
  • Providing expert knowledge to train paraprofessionals on teaching methodologies specific for their students in inclusive classrooms.
  • Assisting with the development of accommodations and modifications and strategies for students in inclusive classrooms.
  • Providing expert information, support, and communication with parents and families.
  • Providing the necessary expert guidance and training to assist staff, parents and students through the transition process from secondary school to adulthood

What Are the Qualifications to Be an Inclusive Education Specialist?

To enroll in this Board Certification Program as an Inclusive Education Specialist, a candidate must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education and be certified or licensed as a teacher.Proof of the qualifications can be legible copies of transcripts, certificate or license sent to NASET.

Can I Receive Professional or Educational Credit for Completion of the Modules?

That would depend upon many factors. Primary amongst them is the credit requirements for acceptance of by your school, district or governmental agency. All Modules have been rated by NASET/AASEP in study hours. The number of study hours is indicated on each Module certificate which also contain your name, the Module title, and the date of completion. 

How Much Does the Program Cost? 

The cost for NASET members is $950.00 in one payment or you can choose to pay for each of the 5 modules at $225.00/each. (Non-members pay $1,100 in one payment or $260/module).

Do I Need to be a Member of NASET or AASEP to Apply for BCIES?

No. Although NASET or AASEP membership does provide a discount, we do not require you to be a member of NASET or AASEP to apply.

Is There an Application Fee?

No. There is no application fee to apply for the BCIES program.

How Long Does it Take to Complete the BCIES Program?

Since the modules and examinations are available online 24/7, the time it takes is totally up to you. The only limitations are that you complete the 5 Modules within 2 years of your application acceptance. If you start with the NASET member’s discounted fees, your membership must remain active throughout the period, during which you are completing the requirements.

After Completion of All Requirements, How Long Does it Take to Attain the Designation of BCIES?

Once you have completed the Module requirements, your credentials are presented to the Board for approval. The time from program completion to attaining BCIES certification documentation is approximately 10 business days.

Will I Need to Renew My Certification?

Yes. All candidates who complete the Board Certified Inclusive Education Specialist program must renew their certification annually with the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). The annual BCIES certification renewal fee for NASET Members is $125.00. Non-members renewal fee is $165.00. DOWNLOAD BCIES RENEWAL FORM

Do I Need to Travel to a Location to Access Materials, View a Lecture or Take the Examinations?

No. Our Units, Modules and examinations are all online. There is no need to travel to access anything. The entire program, from start to finish, can be done in the comfort of your home, office or wherever you choose.

Are There Specific Start Dates to Begin the BCIES Program?

No, you can begin to start a Module whenever you choose. You work and study at your own pace. As soon as you are notified of your access via email, your access has been “turned on” so that you may begin at your convenience.

When Can I Take the Examination for a Given Module?

That is also completely up to you. You work and study for an examination at your own pace. There is no specific examination date. You set the pace of the program based on your availability.

If I Do Not Pass the Examination,  Will I Be Given Another Chance?

Yes. You are allowed 3 attempts to complete each of the 5 Module examinations.

How Do I Advance to the Next Module After I Complete the Latest Examination?

Once you receive a score of 80% or higher on a Module Examination, you can then print a certificate of successful completion. You will need to provide this certificate to the Career Center at NASET by email, fax or mailing. The following is information for each method to send the certificate: Email – careercenter@naset.org Fax: 800-424-0371 or by mail: NASET Career Center, 3642 E. Sunnydale Drive, Chandler Heights, AZ 85142. Lastly payment must be completed before any module is activated.

What Do I Do if I Have Technical Issues with Online Module Access or Examinations?

Contact the NASET Career Center at careercenter@naset.org or call us at 800-754-4421 ext 102

How Will I Know When Or if I Have Access to a Given Module?

You will receive an emailed notification that access to the next Module has been activated. You can also see active links for modules with access turned on for you in the Module Access Portal page* (Please note – You must be logged in to see the Module Access Link(s))   

Who Do I Contact If I Have Any Questions About the BCIESProgram?

Contact the NASET Career Center at careercenter@naset.org or call us at 800-754-4421 ext 102

Inclusive Specialist Links

BCIES Application - Click here  

BCIES Module/Unit Summaries - Click here

BCIES Requirements and Cost - Click here

BCIES Handbook - Click Here

Go To Module Access Portal