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New Cohort Registration Coming Soon! 

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.

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)

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

Guest speakers may be announced for specific topics.

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 13, 2016, 12:00 – 2:00 PM EST


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

Advocate Academy Archives - The Advocacy Institute Advocate Academy Deluxe Webinar Collection USB is included with the Registration fee. Get all 50 of Webinar archives plus all related materials to access anytime, anywhere. The USB is also pre-loaded with the complete IDEA 2004 statute and federal regulations and Section 504 federal regulations. An extra 1 GB leaves plenty of room to load your personal data. (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 - $1,150.00 ( $345 due with application, $805 due upon acceptance)

Non-Members – $1,300.00 ( $390 due with application, $910 due upon acceptance. Includes one year of COPAA membership).

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 11/01/15, a refund will be issued minus the registration fee.
After 11/01/15, there are no refunds.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted soon. Please be as complete as possible when submitting your application. 

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 4, 2015 (limited to the first 60 accepted participants). Applications will be reviewed as they are received with a rolling admission process.


There are a limited number of SEAT scholarships available to qualified members. The applicants income must fall below the federal poverty guidelines. To apply, please send an email to and include the first two pages of most recent federal tax return. 




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Clarion Ledger Report on Special Education

Created by
Emily LeCoz, reporter at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi