The grant will fund two years of tuition for UofL students who earn dual certification in elementary education and moderate/severe intellectual disability.
The idea behind the program, says UofL education professor Robert Pennington, is to create a pipeline of elementary school teachers who can serve students with disabilities.
“There has been a perennial shortage of teachers trained to help special needs children,” said Pennington, who will oversee the program. “This grant should go a long way toward addressing that problem.”
Pennington said the grant will:
- Pay two years of tuition for up to 30 education majors who earn dual certification. The first 15 students started this semester; another 15 will begin in spring 2017
- Include hands-on training with students in high-poverty, persistently low-achieving local schools
- Leverage and enhance programs offered through Jefferson County Public Schools and UofL’s Kentucky Autism Training Center
- Fund two intensive summer programs designed to help teachers refine techniques for helping students with disabilities and their families