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2019 SEAT 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 registration are now closed - classes are at our registration capacity.

COPAA also offers two other training options: 

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There are three levels of SEAT, please review each of the levels below to determine which is best for you. These courses will fill up very quickly so don't delay. 

COPAA is proud to conduct Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT)TM 1.0 a nine-week course for beginners;  SEAT 2.0 a year-long Special Education Advocate Training, the only nationally developed and recognized year-long course that provides participants with training to become a special education advocate. 2019-20 will be the 8th cohort for COPAA SEAT 2.0, using a web-based curriculum and distance learning. The course is being offered as a combination of self-paced web learning, readings, group and individual assignments as well as live virtual classrooms; and SEAT 3.0 a five-week course for advanced advocates on the Business of Advocacy.


SEAT Level


Length of Class / Dates



SEAT 1.0


  • Beginners
  • Never Practiced As an Advocate (paid or unpaid)
  • Limited Knowledge of IDEA and other Laws
  • Limited Prior Training
  • Reading Assignments
  • 3-4 Written Assignments
  • Live Classes Using Online Webinar Technology



9 sessions



05/17/19 - 7/19/19


First Class:
9:30-11:30 AM Pacific

12:30 – 2:30 PM Eastern


Second Class:

12:00pm-2:00pm Pacific

3:00pm-5:00pm Eastern



$425 COPAA Members


$525 Non-Members


Full payment due with application




Draft Syllabus


SEAT 1.0 Instructors



SEAT 2.0



  • Intermediate Level
  • Some Experience as an Advocate Preferred (paid or unpaid
  • Some Knowledge and Familiarity with IDEA and other laws
  • Prior Training (SEAT 1.0 or similar)
  • Reading Assignments
  • Multiple Written Assignments
  • Self-Study Modules
  • Live Classes Using Online Webinar Technology



27 sessions



10/18/19 - 5/01/20

9:30-11:30 AM Pacific

12:30 – 2:30 PM Eastern





$1,350 for COPAA Members


$1,500 for Non Members.


30% due with application, remaining balance due no later than 9/13/19.


Draft Syllabus


SEAT 2.0 Instructors



SEAT 3.0



  • Advanced Level
  • Already Practicing as an Advocate or Ready to Set Up a Practice
  • Prior Training and Mentorship (SEAT 1.0 & 2.0 or similar)
  • Reading Assignments
  • Live Classes Using Online Webinar Technology




5 Sessions




9/05/19 – 10/03/19


9:30-12:30 AM PST 12:30 – 2:30 PM EST





$355.00 COPAA Members





Full payment due with registration


Draft Syllabus



Seat 1.0 - Beginning Advocacy 

This 9-week course is intended as an introduction to advocacy for education services for children/youth with special needs. This class is designed for people new to advocacy, who want to increase their understanding of the field of special education advocacy; critical provisions of the federal laws that govern education to students with disabilities; and, increasing knowledge and skills to take the first steps to becoming a special education advocate for students and their families. This class can be taken ‘stand alone’ or can be used as a pre-requisite to SEAT 2.0.

  • Class Dates: Friday, 5/17/19 - Friday, 7/19/19, No class 7/5/19
  • Class Time: 12:30-2:30 pm ET
  • Tuition Cost: $425 for COPAA Members ; $525 Non-Members (Due with application)
  • Cancellation Policy: If not accepted in the course, full refund.
  • Maximum Number of Participants: 55
  • Course Information:

SEAT 2.0 - Year Long Intensive Training 

The Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT) 2.0 is year-long course, classroom, self-study and a required practicum, that provides participants with the information, training (web-based) and practical experience to become a special education advocate. 

This course assumes that participants are familiar with special education and the IEP process; the range of disabilities and challenges addressed by IDEA; disability culture; and, working with families of children with disabilities. This course includes reading and assignments in addition to the live class. All assignments are graded pass/fail. 

Students must complete all assignments and receive a pass on each graded assignment to pass the course. If you do not think you can complete all assignments due to your work or home schedule, please consider dropping the course and take SEAT at another time.


Students who do not pass assignments will be given an opportunity to redo the assignment or do makeup work. The goal is to assist each student to succeed and pass the course.

  • Class Dates:  Friday, 10/18/19 - Friday, 5/01/20

  • Class Time: 12:30-2:30 pm ET / 9:30 -11:30 am Pacific
  •  Seat 2.0 Materials:
  1. A Practical Guide to Special Education Advocate Training (included with registration fee)

  2. COPAA Webinar Archives: Access to the complete Library of COPAA Webinars (included with registration fee)
  • Tuition Cost: $1,350 for COPAA Members and $1,500 for Non Members.  30% due with application, remaining balance due no later than 9/19/19.
  • Cancellation Policy: If not accepted into the course, full refund. If withdraw prior to 11/01/19, refund minus deposit paid (30% of tuition), No refunds after 11/01/19.
  • Maximum Number of Participants: 70
  • Application Process: Applications are submitted online and applicants must complete the form in its entirety. Only completed applications will be considered. Space is limited and the course will fill up quickly.

  • Course Information 
    • Draft Syllabus - (A final syllabus will be sent to all accepted participants prior to the start of the course).
    • Click Here for Practicum Guidelines(Practicums occur after successful of the live courses)
    •  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).
    • Participation in the live weekly classes is expected. Participants may miss a couple of sessions during the year (classes are recorded). 
    • 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 3.0 The Business of Special Education Advocacy 

This is a class for advocates who are starting a nonprofit or for-profit advocacy business.   The focus is on the practical issues of business formation and operation, not on the specifics of special education advocacy.  The class is designed for students who have successfully completed the SEAT 2.0 curriculum (or have experience/training as an advocate) and now want to start working with students and families. The curriculum draws on the experience of advocates who have started their own for profit or nonprofit business, and reviews the challenges, concerns and solutions that they developed.  The class addresses issues generally, as the laws that impact business operations differ among localities, include unique business development and marketing strategies.

  • Class Dates: September 5 – October 03, 2019
  • Class Times: Thursdays 9:30-11:30 AM PST/ 12:30 – 2:30 PM EST
  • Tuition Cost: $355 COPAA Members; $455 for non members
  • Cancellation Policy: If withdraw prior to 9/12/19, refund minus $100 admin fee. No refunds after 9/12/19.
  • Maximum Number of Participants: 35
  • Application Process: Applications are submitted online and applicants must complete the form in its entirety. Only completed applications will be considered. Space is limited and the course may fill up quickly.

General Policies 

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 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, note in the comments box you are applying for a scholarship and select pay by check to complete without payment. 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 SEAT@copaa.org  

A COPAA Representative will contact you to confirm eligibility and availability. 

 Click here for current Federal Guidelines

Registration Policy

Registration and attendance to COPAA educational events is NOT open to anyone who is not a member of COPAA OR does not meet eligibility. Any individual who currently receives more than 50% of his/her income from state, local, or, in the case of an attorney, who has represented such an agency or school district within the past five years, shall not be permitted to register or attend a COPAA educational event unless a formal exception is granted by the Executive Director of COPAA.

 (Click here for more information regarding membership, guest membership and for the full eligibility policy).


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