Join MAASE's Virtual Professional Learning Event

June 11, 2024 | 8:30 AM - 2:45 PM

Featuring Laurie VanderPloeg, Kathy Fortino, and the communications crew from OPTIMISE.

Laurie and Kathy will present how they are advancing Special Education in Michigan. The communications crew will share tools to help districts highlight Special Education from the 500 posts reaching over 10 million Michigan residents.

Welcome to OPTIMISE!

Your Guide to Michigan’s Special Education Careers

OPTIMISE is a Michigan group made up of nearly 20 education partners to attract, prepare, and retain more professionals in the Special Education field.

This one-stop-shop website features over 1,200 jobs in a variety of careers that help excel children with disabilities including Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, School Psychologists, Behaviorist, and more.

Discover nine professions, their funding options, and basic steps to jumpstart your career in Special Education.

Explore Special Education Careers

Attract Prepare and Retain Special Education Graphic


Knowledgeable, compassionate, and diverse individuals to the wide range of career options within the field of special education profession.


Special education personnel by building capacity through targeted, intentional professional Learning opportunities, technical assistance, and support.


Special education personnel long-term through the collaborative efforts of federal, state, and local entities.

OPTIMISE Leadership

Laurie VanderPloeg

OPTIMISE Consultant

Kathy Fortino

OPTIMISE Project Manager