UMD College of Education Receives Two $1.2M Grants for Special Education Teacher Preparation

Teacher with students and paraeducator

The College of Education was recently awarded two $1.2 million federal grants to support special education teacher preparation programs. Both grants were awarded through a U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs grant program entitled Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities–Preparation of Early Intervention and Special Education Personnel Serving Children with Disabilities who Have High-Intensity Needs.

The first grant supports UMD’s new online M.Ed. in special education, with a specialization in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), high-intensity needs. This five-year grant will fund 50% of accepted graduate students’ tuition for two cohorts of 25 students each from across the state of Maryland. Designed for working professionals in the field, the M.Ed. enables graduate students to advance their professional development in supporting students with autism and exercising leadership skills. The coursework focuses on providing advanced training in evidence-based practices, individualized and culturally/linguistically responsive instruction, and positive behavioral interventions and services. The program is directed by Professor Philip Burke (principal investigator), co-directed by Research Assistant Professor Agnesanne Danehey (co-principal investigator) and evaluated by Associate Clinical Professor Tori Page-Voth.

“This online M.Ed. program prepares teachers to promote high expectations and improve outcomes for students with ASD,”  said Danehey. 

The second grant supports the INnovative Special Education Preparation and Induction to Retain Exceptional Diverse (INSPIRED) Teachers program. The five-year grant will provide funding for two cohorts of 14 students each to obtain initial teacher certification, a masters degree in special education and interactive coaching during their first year as teachers of record in a local school system. This program is directed by Associate Clinical Professor Dawn Martin (principal investigator) and co-directed by  Senior Lecturer Stacey Williams and Assistant Clinical Professor Seyma Intepe-Tingir (co-principal investigators). 

“All children deserve classrooms with highly trained teachers who can collaborate to meet diverse learning needs,” said Martin.