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No matter where you are in your professional journey, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) provides the knowledge and inspiration you need to make a difference in your student’s lives. From growing your expertise to accessing evidence-based resources, CEC is here to lift you up throughout your career.  

CEC membership provides access to essential content that keeps you connected to the latest practice insights, research, and emerging trends in special education so you can feel confident in your abilities to support your students.  

CEC Membership Benefits

Professional development you can trust:

Support from connections, peers, and community:

Protection for your practice and your profession:

From becoming a member to assisting with your membership, groups, event registrations and book orders, we’re here to help.

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Have a group of 5 or more professionals? Explore preferred pricing with our group memberships.

Group Membership

Why Join

“It means a lot to me because it’s just an added support. It’s like an added way of gaining the sixth sense of knowledge for this wonderful population of students that I work with. And it just means a lot that I get to continue to grow my knowledge and expand on working with students with special needs.”

- Theresa Garfield, CEC Member since 2011

Membership Categories

Select the membership category that’s right for you!

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Pre-service undergraduate or graduate (including doctoral)* students who have not yet held any position as a professional in special education. Members in this category may be full or part time students.

*Student memberships include a Student Educator Professional Liability Insurance policy for up to $1 million of coverage (eligibility requirements apply).

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Current graduate students (including doctoral)* who are returning for an additional degree after or while concurrently holding a professional position in special education.  Members in this category may be full or part time students. 


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Special or general education professionals with three or fewer years of professional experience. All new professionals are welcome — classroom, itinerant, resource teachers, support personnel, researchers, faculty members, administrators, and others.  

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Special or general education professionals with more than three years of professional experience and interested parties. All are welcome — classroom, itinerant, resource teachers, support personnel, researchers, faculty; administrators, family members, and others. 

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Individuals employed to provide instructional or related support to students and their families under the direction and supervision of a certified special education teacher.

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Special education and education professionals who have retired from the field and no longer hold a professional position – employee, consultant, or otherwise - in education or special education.

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Individuals who are interested in special education but are not employed (including as consultants) in any field of education and/or special education. Affiliates may serve on or be appointed to committees, but they may not vote or petition any CEC governing body.

Big group of college kids

Join CEC with a group membership and enjoy discounted rates. Whether you’re a student, early in your career, or an established professional, there’s a place for you and your group at CEC.

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