A five-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund a UAB School of Education project designed to prepare regular classroom teachers to instruct special-needs children and youth.
UAB was the only university in Alabama to receive the DOE Special Education Pre-Service Training Improvement Grant, and Professor Renitta Goldman, Ph.D., is the principal investigator for UAB’s Project THEP (Training Highly Qualified Effective Practitioner Program).
Most Alabama students with disabilities are taught in the regular classroom and they receive support services designed to aid their instruction, say experts. The grant will help prepare elementary and high-school teachers to better meet the needs of those children.
Specifically, UAB School of Education students will gain experience working in schools in high-poverty neighborhoods and those in which youngsters with disabilities are not meeting adequate yearly progress goals as required by the No Child Left Behind Act. Project THEP also will focus on the recruitment and mentoring of education students who have diverse backgrounds or disabilities.
The U.S. DOE Special Education Pre-Service Training Improvement Grants program is designed to enhance the quality of special-education teacher-preparation programs and to ensure that graduates meet the highly qualified teacher requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The program awarded a total of $2.4 million in grants to 20 universities in 15 states nationwide.