The need for more collaboration and co-teaching emerged from the standards-based and accountability movement as a result of legislation such as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). This study sought to identify the skill sets perceived as necessary by elementary general and exceptional education teachers, (0-5 years experience), needed to be successful in a co-teaching classroom and to discover if collaborative coursework is being offered to pre-service teachers as part of their university experience. This qualitative study was based on the naturalistic inquiry design (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) and was comprised of three focus groups. A focus group protocol was used for data collection based on the ten revised (2011) Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium standards. Data collected aligned pre-service training, coursework, and experiences received with the skill sets the participating teachers reported as critical for effective collaboration and co-teaching. Fifty-three percent of the general education teachers’ and 60% of the exceptional education teachers’ training received matched the skills they felt were most important. Forty-seven percent of the general education teachers’ and 40% of the exceptional education teachers’ pre-service training focused on “other” skills, knowledge, performance, and critical dispositions. These data suggest that there is a disconnect between what teachers perceive as important and what is actually being taught through coursework and experiences in teacher preparation programs. ACCESS FULL MANUSCRIPT AT:

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