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A Recipe for PIE

by the Program for Inclusive Education


Teachers know that it is necessary to meet their students “where they are.” But what does this actually mean? Is there a recipe for success, and what ingredients are needed to be successful in their classrooms? The foundational belief of the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) is that Catholic schools can welcome, serve, and celebrate all students. Thus PIE offers many resources to support teachers in this work, and today we highlight the PIE Licensure Program. 

Applications are now open for the seventh cohort of PIE’s 18-credit hour program. How does this six-class program equip educators in Catholic schools to welcome all students? We would like to share PIE’s ingredient list and extend an invitation for you to join our next cohort so you can assemble the necessary ingredients for the complete recipe.

Ingredient #1: Spirituality

As the program starts, participants reflect on the foundations and critical elements of inclusive practices. PIE’s coursework is tied to the Catholic faith, so spiritual reflections, Church documents, and the lives of the faithful are folded into the program’s studies. 

Ingredient #2: Knowledge and Skills to Apply in Your Classroom

PIE’s four-semester program begins with foundational content on frameworks and instructional planning for diverse learners. During the fall and spring, content methods such as literacy and math and assessments are explored through the lens of Universal Design for Learning and evidence-based practices. We intentionally focus on executive functioning, social/emotional learning, and behavior. Participants in the program work in Catholic schools and apply their learning in their own classrooms.Weekly tasks and semester capstones allow educators to collect data on their students and practice implementing their new knowledge and skills in real time.

Ingredient #3: Community and Connection

Throughout the program, participants are connected to other cohort members, instructors, and a large national network of professionals who support inclusive efforts in Catholic schools. Although the program is primarily asynchronous, periodic zoom sessions are included, and faculty encourage collaborative work as a way to build community and connection and offer feedback on assignments. 

Ingredient #4: On-Campus Experience

PIE culminates with a deep dive into policy and special education practices, a final group project, and a trip to Notre Dame's beautiful campus during the program’s second summer. This week in July offers participants a rich mixture of spiritual experiences, a time to connect with classmates and experts, and a successful conclusion to their academic learning. The PIE cohort is also introduced to the greater ACE community, and at the end of the week, PIE participants attend ACE’s Missioning Mass and are sent out to return to their schools and communities charged with educating all students inclusively. 

These ingredients are only part of the recipe that makes PIE such an outstanding program. One of the missing pieces is YOU! Join our seventh cohort and complete this recipe for successful inclusion in our Catholic schools. 

Register now to receive PIE’s March 2023 A Little Slice of PIE in your email inbox next week. In lieu of a half-hour conversation, the PIE team will offer a short video highlighting program insights from PIE’s most recent cohort of completers, PIE 5.

Come enjoy your "slice of the PIE" like our PIE 4 members (pictured above) and start an application. Applications for PIE 7 can be found on our website at The deadline is April 1, 2023. Please explore other learning opportunities and free resources at Come enjoy your piece of the PIE!