15 Universities Awarded Grant Funding to Speed Up Special Ed Teaching Certification

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PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) aims to address the shortage of special education teachers through a new grant program. The PDE recently announced that 15 universities, working in partnership with school districts, received a total of $1.5 million in grant funding to expedite the process of students becoming certified special education teachers. This not only helps to fill the need for qualified special education instructors, but also streamlines the entire process for aspiring teachers.

“The Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting and growing Pennsylvania’s educator workforce, especially in specialized and underserved areas like Special Education,” said Acting Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “These grants will expedite the process of becoming a certified special educator and enable more teachers to enter the field faster.”

Awardees include:

  • Commonwealth University, $100,000
  • Eastern University, $96,741
  • East Stroudsburg University, $100,000
  • Gannon University, $100,000
  • Holy Family University, $99,984
  • Kutztown University, $99,510
  • Lehigh University, $100,000
  • Lincoln University, $99,999
  • Millersville University, $100,000
  • Moravian University, $99,912
  • Slippery Rock University, $100,000
  • The Pennsylvania State University, $100,000
  • University of Pittsburgh, $99,984
  • West Chester University, $99,579
  • Widener University, $99,993

Through the Accelerated Program for PK-12 Special Education Teacher Certification, grants are awarded to colleges and universities that have approved PK-12 special education certification programs. These educational institutions then partner with at least one school district, approved private school, career and technical center, charter school, cyber charter school, or intermediate unit to provide individuals who currently hold bachelors degrees with amazing summer field experiences.

Moreover, the summer field experiences come with a unique opportunity for these individuals to receive mentoring by highly experienced special educators throughout the school year. In addition to the summer program and mentoring, individuals will receive a post-baccalaureate program for PK-12 special education teacher certification within just 18 months.

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This grant program is a crucial part of PDE’s overall educator workforce strategy. It is aimed at ensuring that a robust pipeline of educators is in place to provide high-quality education to learners of all ages across the Commonwealth, and in so doing, help to foster a sense of excellence in education throughout Pennsylvania.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, visit its website.

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