UF Receives $198,000 Grant for Special Ed Curriculum Revision
Graduates from the University of Findlay’s College of Education soon will be more broadly prepared to teach all students, including those with special education needs, thanks to a recent grant from the Ohio Department of Education.
Through an Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children: New Incentive Grant, the University will receive $198,432 over two years, according to Hillary Hartman, UF grants manager.
“The goal of the funding is to prepare educators to better meet the instructional needs of all learners,” she said.
Carrie Wysocki, Ph.D., assistant professor of education and intervention, explained that the College of Education will use the funds to design and implement a blended/inclusive program preparing teachers to serve children with disabilities and learning difficulties; multilingual learners; those from racially, culturally, and ethnically minoritized groups; and students from disadvantaged backgrounds
UF classes will lead to dual licensure in a general education and special education licensure area. The program will provide a new baccalaureate program leading to an Intervention Specialist license in the new state grade bands of a P-8 license.
Many school districts are seeking teachers with knowledge and experience to serve in special education classrooms. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 14.8 percent of Ohio students have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
“Our UF students will have the opportunity to obtain two licenses in the same amount of time in four years, and it makes them much more marketable as future teachers to have that intervention training,” Wysocki explained. “Personally and professionally, UF students will be more prepared to meet the demands of a challenging profession because of their knowledge to address the complex needs of students.”
She noted that the grant also helps UF to respond to the teaching shortage in Ohio and across the nation.
“Teachers are leaving the profession at alarming rates; but if they are better prepared, they can build on those self-efficacy skills in their teaching. UF education majors will have a more thorough background knowledge of how to address student needs, engage in empathy and hopefully with those skills, they are more likely to remain in the profession,” she said.
Wysocki, along with Melissa Recker, Ed.D., and Kerry Teeple, Ed.D., assistant professors of teaching in education, will review existing programs this fall and present course changes to the College of Education and the University for approval. The new curriculum will then be submitted to the Ohio Department of Higher Education for approval in fall 2024 or spring 2025.
“We are proud that the future students of our UF graduates will be in very capable and knowledgeable hands,” she said.
To learn more about the College of Education at UF, visit the College of Education webpage.