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The 18-Credit Hour Teacher Formation Program

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) is an 18-credit hour program for educators employed in Catholic schools/(arch)dioceses. The program offers a licensure track for eligible teachers who wish to pursue additional licensure in Mild Intervention upon program completion. For applicants without a teaching license or who are already licensed in special education, PIE offers the opportunity to further develop their expertise in meeting the needs of diverse learners through a unique Catholic school lens. Join PIE and more effectively welcome, serve, and celebrate all students!

Application Components

  • Applications open in October
  • Résumé/curriculum vitae
  • Official transcripts (sent directly to Notre Dame by the issuing institution) 
  • Teacher license information (if applicable)
  • Current photo
  • Principal recommendation
  • Needs-based scholarship request (if applicable)

PIE 8 Application Timeline (now closed)

  • October 1, 2023: Applications open 
  • March 1, 2024: Early application deadline 
  • March 15, 2024: Early acceptance notification
  • April 14, 2024: Final application deadline
  • May 20, 2024: Summer courses begin
  • July 14 - 25, 2025: Tentative on-campus experience

  • October 2024: PIE 9 Applications open

Completion of the 18-credit program leads to additional licensure/certification in Exceptional Learners: Mild Disabilities.

EDU 70200: Foundations of Inclusive Education (3 credits)

An introduction to inclusive education is provided with a focus on understanding learner attributes, including academic, behavioral, social/emotional, and health issues. Historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives serve as a foundation for understanding learner strengths and challenges. Evidence-based frameworks and inclusive practices that seek to address complex learning needs are emphasized. (Summer I-Online)

EDU 70205: Assessment and Data-Based Decisions (2 credits)

Through the lens of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), formal and informal academic assessments of learning issues are provided. Selecting and implementing appropriate diagnostic measures with data analysis is applied to make informed, data-based instructional decisions. Collaborative team processes and eligibility decisions are overviewed. (Summer I-Online)

EDU 70208: Planning, Methods, and Service Delivery (4 credits)

Critical elements of planning and instruction within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) are addressed. Evidence-based practices, assessment, and data-based decision making are examined to address the learning needs of students who struggle. Attention is given to accommodations and curricular modifications, as well as frameworks and strategies that impact learning. Clinical experiences are required. (Fall-Online)

EDU 70207: Literacy and Language Methods (4 credits)

A focus on literacy and language methods from the Science of Reading lens serves as the foundation for inclusive instruction and assessment. An emphasis on diagnostic decision making, planning, and delivery of empirically-validated, multisensory literacy instruction that maximizes the learning of all students is examined. Special attention is given to essential elements of critical literacy pedagogy and evidence-based practices to meet the diverse needs of struggling learners and students with learning disabilities. Clinical experiences are required. (Spring-Online)

EDU 70203: Behavior, Environment, and Self-Regulation (2 credits)

An examination of the complex interaction between environmental variables and learner regulation skills and behavior is provided. The use of proactive strategies and frameworks is applied to reinforce learner behaviors that lead to success. Responsive practices to support executive functioning, social, emotional, and behavioral well-being are applied. Specific emphasis is given to assessment, data analysis, and application of evidence-based practices to support the diverse needs of the whole learner. (Summer II-Online)

EDU 70204: Policy and Practice in Special Education (3 credits)

Effective practice and implications of special education policy for learners with diverse needs are provided. Specialized methods of service delivery are addressed for students with diagnosed disabilities. Attention is given to advocacy, collaboration, accommodations and curricular modifications, and transition planning. Evidence-based practices are advanced to enable successful individualized educational planning. (Summer II-On Campus)

*Curriculum/course names are subject to revision. 

PIE 8 Costs: 

  • Total Value = $12,200 (Tuition and R&B) 
  • Tuition = $10,500
  • Housing & Food = $1,700

PIE is aware of the financial sacrifice for participation, and we want to make programming accessible to as many Catholic educators as possible.

To further this mission, we have been blessed with the ability to award every participant a $2,000 Inclusive Educator Scholarship. This scholarship is applied in the 2nd summer.

There is a section in the application to request additional financial support. Please note that applying for additional needs-based funding does not guarantee additional support; however, PIE will do everything possible to assist with this financial commitment. Beyond the Inclusive Educator and needs-based scholarships, Title funding at the school/diocesan levels can be used for participation, and resources are available through Notre Dame's Financial Aid Office. 

Additional Costs

  • $100 (estimated) for books and printing materials (copies shared by instructors that some candidates choose to print on their own)

  • Travel to ND for Summer II (varies based on location)

For questions regarding the application process, please contact Abby Giroux at 574-631-7158 or

Summer I: $3600

5 credits of online programming over 2 courses: 

EDU 70200: Foundations of Inclusive Education (3 cr) 
EDU 70207: Critical Elements of Inclusive Education (2 cr)

Fall: $2300

4 credits of online programming over 1 course

 EDU 70207: Literacy Methods and Assessment for Inclusion (4 cr)

Spring: $2300

4 credits of online programming over 1 course

EDU 70208: Advanced Methods and Assessment for Inclusion (4 cr) 

Summer II: $2300 - $2000 PIE Scholarship = $300 + Room/Board

Room/Board = $1,700 

Cost after scholarship = $2,000

5 credits with 1 online course (June - July) and then the on-campus capstone

EDU 70202: Collaboration, Communication & Culture (2 cr)
EDU 70204: Policy & Practice in Special Education (3 cr) 

What does the on-campus experience include? 

During PIE’s second summer semester, participants travel to campus for a 9 - 10 day experience in July. This experience integrates the three pillars with special activities– forming professional educators, building community, and growing spiritually. Educators participate in the final course content and capstone presentations, community time and unique Notre Dame experiences, and spiritual retreat and mass.

Room and Board for the on-campus experience is built into the total program cost; however, participants are responsible for arranging their travel to and from campus. 

How do tuition payments work? 

Participants receive invoices directly from the University of Notre Dame Student Accounts Office. Account balances are paid online or by check. If necessary, a payment plan can be established. 

Many participants receive funding support from their schools. In these cases, PIE will accommodate specific circumstances and provide an invoice that can be paid by check and sent to the PIE office. 

What are the semester costs for books and course materials?

PIE instructors post most of the required readings for participants on the Canvas learning platform. Additional resource costs are minimal and at the discretion of the instructor. 

What is PIE’s course schedule? 

PIE is an 18-credit hour, hybrid program across four semesters (Summer I, Fall, Spring, and Summer II). Most of the course content is asynchronous and precedes the on-campus capstone experience during Summer II. The curriculum follows the requirements of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) national standards and is aligned with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Exceptional Needs: Mild Intervention standards. 

The PIE course sequencing is under revision, and therefore, the information on PIE’s website will likely be changed for the 2024-2025 academic year. However, the program has intentionally weighted the summer courses more heavily to ensure the academic year is not overly burdensome. Moreover, course activities and assignments require participants to collect data and implement best practices with their own classroom students. This provides a well-integrated experience while assisting struggling students and those with disabilities at their school.

How do PIE’s asynchronous courses work? 

The University of Notre Dame uses the Canvas LMS platform for all courses. Asynchronous courses follow a similar format and schedule. Content is officially opened one week at a time on Mondays at 12:01 a.m. with due dates on Fridays and/or Sundays. Instructors often open the content a couple of days early, so there are two weekends for each week’s activities. Participants work at their own pace. PIE utilizes a Universal Design for Learning philosophy, delivering content via readings, videos, website exploration, activities, etc. 

There are a number of synchronous Zoom sessions during the asynchronous courses. Most of them are in conjunction with capstone work. Instructors record Zoom sessions for participants who are unable to attend and/or need to revisit the discussion.

PIE establishes Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for academic activities. PLCs complete several group projects, and therefore, PLC members determine the best format and times to collaborate. 

The PLCs meet independent of course content as a PIE Peace Community (PPC) on a monthly basis for spiritual reflection and community sharing. Each PPC has an assigned PIE Advocate Leader (PAL) to facilitate the sessions. PALs are PIE program completers and serve in a pastoral role.

PIE Inclusive Educators Map

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