LEADERSHIP NETWORK! National Association of Private Special Education Centers



National Association

of Private Special Education Centers




NAPSEC...the indispensable

voice and premier resource for private special education community.


Our Association

Become a NAPSEC member! 


What is a NAPSEC Program?

See What Members Have To Say!


 NAPSEC Foundation


Council of Affiliated State Associations


National Commission for the Accreditation of

Special Education Services

Outcomes Research Study

Job Openings at Member Programs

The National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) is a non-profit association whose mission is to represent private special education centers and their leaders. Together, we promote high quality programs for individuals with disabilities and their families and we advocate for access to the continuum of alternative placements and services.


NAPSEC represents about 300 programs nationally, and over 400 at the state level through the Council of Affiliated State Associations. NAPSEC programs provide special education for both privately and publicly placed individuals. The majority of the membership serves publicly placed individuals who are funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Ten percent of the membership provide services to privately placed individuals only and receive no federal funding.



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What is a NAPSEC Program?

NAPSEC programs provide special education services for preschool, elementary, and secondary aged children and adults with mild to severe disabilities in over 60 different disability categories, who need individualized education programs that address their unique needs.  

NAPSEC programs are located throughout the nation, serve all types of disabilities, are not-for-profit, as well as for-profit entities, are separate schools or affiliated with a children's home, hospital, college, or university setting. NAPSEC programs provide day, residential, clinic, and summer programs. Although the majority of NAPSEC programs serve individuals ages 6 through 21, many provide services from birth to geriatric populations. These members offer programs serving birth through five year olds and/or adult living programs.

NAPSEC programs provide specialized educational services that include: psychology; psychiatry; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; diagnostic testing; adaptive physical education and recreation; nursing services, and social work. These services are based on individual needs that are designed to meet his/her unique social, emotional, and learning needs.

The majority of NAPSEC members have coed programs lasting 10 months. The staff to client ratio in a NAPSEC program ranges from one staff per client, to one staff per twelve clients. These ratios represent both ends of the spectrum, with the one-to-one ratio representing the staffing for an individual with severe disabilities and the one-to-twelve representing the ratio for individuals who have mild disabilities or who participate in gifted and talented programs.

Although NAPSEC programs are very diverse in the disabilities they serve and the services they provide, they all operate on this fundamental belief: to guarantee that each client’s unique needs are met on an individual basis in order to achieve his/her maximum potential. Each NAPSEC program’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment in which individuals receive the skills necessary to return to the regular classroom and/or function successfully in society.

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What NAPSEC members have to say...

  • "NAPSEC clearly preserves and protects private schools as an alternative supported by public special education."

  •  “NAPSEC is the one place you can find the most up-to-date information on educational legislation and its impact on people with disabilities.”

  • "The outstanding representation has insured that federal legislation recognizes private schools as part of the continuum of special education."

  • "Private special education facilities face a great number of challenges and the tremendous amount of support received from other NAPSEC members, as well as NAPSEC staff, is invaluable." 

  • "Participating in the NCASES accreditation process associated with NAPSEC has greatly enhanced our governance, standards and reputation."

  • "Belonging to NAPSEC is an excellent investment. We have gotten back much more than we have given."

  • "NAPSEC has helped our state organization deal with local issues.”

  • "NAPSEC clearly preserves and protects private schools as an alternative supported by public special education. Directors need to ask themselves not "Why should I belong" but rather "Why not?"

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Private early intervention services, schools, residential therapeutic centers,

college experience and adult living programs serving individuals

with disabilities and their families since 1971


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