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Special Education Advocate Training Project TM  (SEAT)

COPAA is proud to conduct a year-long Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT)TM , the only nationally developed and recognized year-long course that provides participants with training to become a special education advocate. The course is based in part on the SEAT Curriculum TM  developed through a partnership between COPAA and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) University Center for Excellence, University of Southern California on a three year demonstration grant funded by the U.S . Department of Education in 2005. The grant funded portion of the project ended in 2009, resulting in development of a model curriculum for advocacy training that was vetted through 3 cohorts under the direction of a 10 member National Advisory Board, and several members of the COPAA Training Committee, all of whom are nationally recognized special education advocates and attorneys.

This session is the fourth replication cohort for COPAA,  using a web-based curriculum and distance learning. This training is the equivalent of two very challenging college courses. The course is being offered as a combination of self-paced web learning, readings, group and individual assignments as well as live virtual classrooms. This syllabus lays out the assignments required for each topic and the time/dates of the virtual classes. Participants must have a computer, web access, and frequent access to email. The course typically requires 5-6 hours per week of work (including the 2 hour mandatory class).

Participants are expected to complete work before the virtual classes to be able to participate fully in discussions. If an issue arises that prevents this from happening, participants should contact the instructors to discuss options.


SEAT Program History and Development 


Program Manager and Lead Instructor:

Claudia Roberts, J.D.,Sr. Education Advocate

Instructors (Live Classes) - Section A

Selene Almazan, Esq.
Eileen Crumm, Ph.D., MPA
Mandy Favaloro, Esq.
Mark Kamleiter, Esq.

Instructors (Live Classes) - Section B

Selene Almazan, Esq.
David Beinke
Susan Bruce
Cynthia Daniels-Hall
Barbar Ebenstein, Esq.
Sonja Kerr, Esq.
Mark Martin, Esq.
Diane Willcutts

Online and Recorded Webinar contributors: 
Heather Allcock, PhD, David Berney, Esq., Kayla Bower, Esq., Susan Bruce, Matt Cohen, Esq., Pamela Coveney, Esq., Michelle Davis, ME.D., Mary Eaddy, Dave L. Edyburn, Ph.D., Matthew Engel, Esq., Elizabeth Eubanks, Esq., Melissa Farrall, PhD,  Jennifer R. Fee, Esq., Andrew Feinstein, Esq., Charles P. Fox, Esq., Monica Hammell, M.D.,Caroline Heller, Esq., Felicia Heurwitz, PhD., Catherine A. Holahan, Esq., Elaine Holden, PhD, Heather Ironside, M.S., Dana Jonson, Esq., Eric Levine, EdD, Ron Lospennato Esq., Mark Martin, Esq., Ann McCarthy, Annie McLaughlin, Ph.D.,BCBA-D, Laurie Markus, Esq., Dorene Philpot, Esq., Carol Quirk, EdD., Lisa Hess Rice, PhD., Gabriela Ruiz, Esq., Ricki Sabia, JD, Jennifer Sang, Esq., Ann E. Simun, PsyD, Lydia Sofier, Ph.D, Janine Solomon, Esq., Cheryl Steedman, Esq., Wayne Steedman, Esq.,Kathy Wian, Carolina Watts, JD, Jane R. Wettach, Esq., Diane Willcutts, Mark Woodsmall, Esq., Jon Zimring, Esq., and many more.     

Class Schedule

Classes/Discussion Group periods will be held on Friday's

October 16, 2015 - May 6, 2016, 12:00 – 2:00 PM EST


·         A Practical Guide to Special Education Advocate Training, Barbara Wheeler and Denise Marshall. (included with registration fee)

·         COPAA Webinar Archives– Access to the complete Library of COPAA Webinars (included with registration fee)

·         Negotiation Genius, D. Malhotra and M. Bazerman, Harvard, 2007. (available on Amazon in hard copy and ebook)


COPAA Members - $1,250.00 ( $345 due with application, $805 due NO LATER than 9/1/16- if you pay by credit card it will be auto billed on 9/1/16)

Non-Members – $1,400.00 ( $390 due with application, $910 due NO LATER than 9/1/16- if you pay by credit card it will be auto billed on 9/1/16). Tuition includes one year of COPAA membership.


SEAT Cohort 5 will be offered in the Fall of 2016. Registration will be announced in June, 2016 and notice is sent to all in COPAA's data base and posted on this page.


Cancellation Policy

If you are not accepted into the program you will receive a full refund of the application fee. 

If you are accepted into the program and then cancel, please note the following cancellation policy:

Prior to 11/01/16, a refund will be issued minus the registration fee.

After 11/01/16, there are no refunds.

Note: Current employees of schools or school districts, earning greater than 50% of salary from the school district are not eligible to participate. 

Deadline for submission is September 1, 2016 (limited to the first 60 accepted participants). Applications will be reviewed as they are received with a rolling admission process.


Scholarship Discount: A limited number of qualified individuals whose family income is at or below 2 x the federal poverty level or who have extenuating circumstances may apply for a SEAT registration fee discount. The discounted tuition amount is 30% of full tuition rate. Requests will be considered on first come basis. To apply for consideration you must complete the online application for SEAT and note in the comments box you are applying for a scholarship. Then send a letter of request with proof that you meet the poverty guidelines (i.e.,the first two pages of your federal tax return) to  A COPAA Representative will contact you to confirm eligibility and availability. Federal Guideline can be found here:

Scholarships are limited in number and applications will be considered and awarded on a first come, first served basis. 





more Calendar

12/3/2015 » 12/3/2017
Webinar Subscription for Individuals

12/3/2015 » 12/3/2017
Webinar Subscription for Organizations

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