Grant to develop next generation of special needs educators

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Grant to develop next generation of special needs educators
$1.9M project to address shortage, particularly in rural communities

L-to-R: Jessica Namkung, Derek Rodgers, Ron Nelson, Mackenzie Savaiano, Susan Loveall-Hague, Matt Lambert, Marc Goodrich, Michael Hebert
Team members include (from left) Jessica Namkung, Derek Rodgers, Ron Nelson, Mackenzie Savaiano, Susan Loveall-Hague, Matt Lambert, Marc Goodrich, Michael Hebert

Beginning in August 2020, the faculty from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s special education program will train six doctoral students to design and provide academic interventions.

The program, which aims to develop leaders in the field of special education, is supported by more than $1.9 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, the Barkley Memorial Center and Nebraska’s Office of Graduate Studies.

The faculty in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at Nebraska developed the program to help address the need for future leaders in special education capable of improving the outcomes of individuals with special needs, particularly at schools located in rural areas.

“There is a shortage of special education teachers and leaders who can train those teachers,” associate professor Michael Hebert said. “With this grant, we will develop six leadership personnel with expertise in the design and implementation of academic interventions, as well as teaching at the college level and providing professional development opportunities for rural schools.”

Funding for the doctoral training will support each of the six students with a $28,000 stipend per year, full-tuition for the duration of their doctoral program, health insurance, a computer, $2,000 for dissertation support, $1,100 per year for travel to conferences and $1,000 for general supplies to help develop intervention materials.

Current teachers interested in pursuing a leadership role in the field of special education are encouraged to apply. Nebraska’s doctoral program in special education has rolling admission, but priority funding decisions will be made for applications received by Jan. 15.

To learn more about this program or other doctoral opportunities in special education at Nebraska, contact Hebert at michael.hebert@unl.edu.

Nearly 50 percent of the funding ($955,034) is from grant number H325D190067 from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Remaining funding ($963,384) is provided through in-kind support from the Barkley Memorial Center and Nebraska’s Office of Graduate Studies.