The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of almost $4 million in grants to higher education institutions to prepare graduate students for leadership positions in special education, early intervention and related services.
With many college professors and administrators in special education facing retirement in the coming years, shortages are expected. Some of these grants will help train future leaders at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels to fill faculty positions in special education, early intervention and related services. Other grants will help prepare scholars to serve as supervisors of personnel providing direct services to infants and children with disabilities.
"Our children and youth with disabilities deserve nothing less than a first-rate education," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These funds will help train good leaders in our colleges who, in turn, can help lead well-prepared teachers in our schools so our students with disabilities can reach their academic potential."
The program is aimed at addressing state-identified needs for personnel preparation in special education, related services, early intervention and regular education to work with children with disabilities. Grant recipients will apply the money toward efforts to ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.
The Office of Special Education Programs is the primary source of federal funding for doctoral training in special education and early intervention.