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PRIME Program


PRIME (Preparing Research-based Inclusive Multidisciplinary Educators) is an innovative, alternative program specifically designed to accommodate non-traditional participants who have a bachelors degree and who are currently working in a Utah public school or charter as a teacher on an emergency Letter of Authorization or as a paraprofessional with students with mild-to-moderate disabilities.

PRIME is supported by an IDEA Personnel Preparation grant from the Utah State Board of Education through June 30, 2021.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-21 cohort. Please check back summer of 2020 for information on our PRIME 2020-22 cohort. 

Contact Information: Dr. Melina Alexander, Weber State University Department of Teacher Education.


Telephone: 385-240-1526

Candidate Selection Procedure

In order to be eligible for consideration, candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and must be currently working with students with mild-moderate disabilities. Candidates are nominated by their school district or charter school, and names are forwarded to the Project Director, Dr. Melina Alexander. Selection criteria include prior post-secondary experience, submission of a brief essay outlining reasons for wishing to become a special educator, and an oral interview. Meeting these requirements qualifies an applicant to be considered for provisional admission. Full admission is dependent upon quality of work and timely progress through the program. Each participant’s progress and performance will be monitored regularly by the program faculty. PRIME also recognizes specific program and diversity needs of professional educators as well as students with disabilities, and it reserves the right to consider such factors in the admission of candidates.

Coursework Requirements

Due to the immediacy of the need for qualified, licensed special educators, PRIME is intended to expedite certification for teachers working on Letters of Authorization or teachers willing to take the additional training to become special educators. It is expected that most individuals will need to complete the entire licensure program. These courses include the following:

  • MED 6515 Foundations in Special Education: Practice and Law
  • MED 6530 Principles and Applications of Special Education Assessment
  • MED 6540 Behavior Management and Social Skills
  • MED 6050 Curriculum Design, Evaluation and Assessment (formerly MED 6550)
  • MED 6565 Advanced Instructional Methods English Language Arts (formerly MED 6555 & MED 6570)
  • MED 6575 Validated Instructional Methods: Mathematics (formerly MED 6560)
  • MED 6580 Learning Strategies and Transition for Secondary Special Education Students
  • MED 6860 Practicum in Education
  • MED 6890 Student Teaching in Special Education (formerly EDUC 4670C)

Specific requirements will be determined based on individual needs, and additional courses may be required or courses may be waived. Any or all of the above courses may be applied as electives for the WSU Masters in Curriculum and Instruction degree. Candidates desiring a concurrent MEd will need to be accepted into the Masters of Education Program (separate application process). Please see the Project Director for information on combining the licensure courses with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

PRIME candidates are admitted to a specific cohort. This means that they must commit to taking and passing two courses per semester, including summer, for four consecutive semesters. The Department of Teacher Education requires all candidates to maintain a 3.0 GPA, with no grade below B-, and a satisfactory disposition rating. Candidates who do not meet these expectations may be dismissed from the PRIME program. Because this grant funds cohorts of students, individuals who repeat or delay a course must do so at their own expense.