Greetings and Happy New Year! I would like to make a few remarks regarding the SSEPC Visiting Scholar Program. First, the program is VERY informal. It is an opportunity through contacts in the SSEPC for members to arrange visits to colleges and universities. These visits may be to advance research, gain insights on innovative programs, guest teach, or other activities that are beneficial to the person visiting and perhaps to the receiving school. The role of SSEPC is to help with initial contacts between the parties. SSPEC does not fund such visits or suggest that schools do so. After the initial contact has been made, the details must be worked out between the Visiting Scholar and the receiving school.
Please allow me to give a personal example of how I utilized the SSPEC Visiting Scholar Program. In the Fall of 2007, during the TED Conference, I contacted Dr. Sylvia Dietrich of Western Kentucky University regarding the possibility of visiting with her during my professional development leave in the Fall of 2008. Dr. Dietrich and I are both members of SSPEC and have been friends and colleagues for many years. She was gracious to invite me to visit. During my three day visit, she arranged for me to visit Early Childhood Special Education Programs-both university and public school sponsored. In addition, she invited me to be a guest lecturer in one of her courses. It was a great experience and I believe a large piece of my successful promotion packet to professor. My university provided travel funds for me to visit.
I invite others in SSEPC to share with me their experiences with the Visiting Scholars Program. I know the activities are as varied as our membership and your experiences would give ideas to the membership of how to participate in Visiting Scholars.
Please let me know if you are interested in participating in the program. As I said, it is a very informal arrangement but one that can be beneficial to your career. I would like to create a list of those universities and colleges who might be interested in hosting a visit so I can match the visitor with the school. If you would like to be a host, please send me your contact information and any innovative program you might want to highlight at your university. If you are interested in being a Visiting Scholar, send me your information, and I will initiate contacts for you.
There are many benefits of belonging to SSEPC. Let Visiting Scholars help you network!
Dr. Laura B. Carpenter
Professor, Special Education
Auburn University Montgomery