On Jan. 1, 2015, regulations changed requiring anyone who applies for a SPED cert (dependent cert) to also hold an independent cert in a content area at the same grade level. Basically, you can no longer hold a SPED cert by itself. You must hold an independent cert, for ex. Early Childhood General Ed, in order to hold a SPED cert.
For anyone who held SPED certs prior to Jan. 1, you will continue to hold them as is; however, the eCert system has been programmed to look for the new regulations. Because your certificates were held prior to Jan. 1, the system requires that you complete your renewal by paper.
Please print the General Educator application from www.ride.ri.gov for the Special Ed cert. You can apply online for the other eligible certifications.