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Reaching Student Members Beyond Graduation

Design memberships categories to align with career paths

The Council for Exceptional Children, like many associations with student members, knows that creating a path for them beyond graduation requires work. To tackle that challenge, CEC has created member categories that correspond to a typical career path in special education.

The association offers two student memberships—Pre-service and Graduate. After graduation, they're eligible for Early Career membership—designed for special educators in the first three years of teaching. Then, members move to the Professional category where they stay until retirement.

"We like to get students to join in the early days of their college education so that our memberships follow them all the way to retirement," said Kevin Jacobs, CEC's membership manager. "Our memberships focus on providing the right support at the right time."

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