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Joint Ex Ed Program Offers Scholarships for Future Leaders

Posted: December 1, 2010
“Preparing Special Education Doctoral Leadership Personnel for the Digital Age,” a doctoral special education program offered jointly by the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State, has received a $1.2 million grant.

Sharon L. Raimondi, program director and professor of exceptional education, and Kevin Miller, chair and assistant professor of exceptional education, are the program's co-principal investigators. Buffalo State’s share of the grant, via subcontract from the University at Buffalo, is $96,000. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Grants, the grant selection process was highly competitive.

Most of the $1.2 million will support six Ph.D. students with a generous stipend and full tuition for four years. In exchange, graduate students must commit to teaching exceptional education teachers-in-training at the college level for eight years.

The purpose is to develop highly qualified faculty members to teach in college and university special education programs, because there is a shortage of such faculty members as well as a shortage of teachers who work directly with students with disabilities, especially in middle and high schools. “Such students have a wide range of disabilities,” said Raimondi, “including learning disabilities, severe physical disabilities, and autism.”

The program will train future faculty members to use modern technology to develop ways for future teachers to enable students with disabilities to benefit from such technology. “One aspect of the program that’s really exciting is that funding is available to support our students in summer internships with experts in the field of applied and assistive technology,” said Raimondi. The program will also include a research practicum with the Buffalo Public Schools.

For more information on the program, including how to apply for the scholarships, contact Raimondi at (716) 645-5042. Students from culturally and linguistically diverse populations, as well as individuals with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.
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