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CSU, Chico News

Teacher Preparation Grant to Aid Students with Disabilities

Date: 10-02-2013

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s School of Education has received a five-year $1,249,996 grant to train 100 future teachers to work with K-12 students with moderate to severe disabilities.

CSU, Chico’s Special Education Teacher Preparation Program is part of a consortium of 64 county and district public school local education agencies that form the Northeastern California Partnership for Special Education.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

Education professor Talya Kemper, coordinator of the Education Specialist Program, said the grant process was highly competitive and only 14 awards were made among 61 applicants.

The project, Northern California Collaboration for Low Incidence Personnel Preparation (Project CLIPP), is organized to study and address the shortage of qualified teachers that hinders local efforts to offer pupils with disabilities a high quality education.

Kemper said the increasing number of students needing services - such as those diagnosed with autism - makes providing training to new teachers imperative. “The rate of autism spectrum disorder identification has been rising, with CDC estimates now at approximately 1 in 88 children,” said Kemper. “Meanwhile, the number of highly qualified teachers trained to work with students that have moderate to severe disabilities has not been able to keep up with the rising demand and retiring baby boomer generation. Specially trained and credentialed teachers are urgently needed to prepare this population of students both functionally and academically.”

Project CLIPP will receive $249,999 for 2013-14. The project will provide tuition and books for prospective teachers enrolled at CSU, Chico who will earn the California Education Specialist Instruction Credential in the area of moderate to severe disabilities.

Teachers will learn to use technology from evidence-based practices, track data from Individualized Education Programs mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and align teaching with the Common Core State Standards Initiative for K-12 schools in California.

For additional information about Project CLIPP, please contact Kemper at tkemper@csuchico.edu or 530-898-6138.