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Special Education Program and Center for Urban Education Receive $1 Million Leadership Training Grant

Published on 8/29/2017 3:38:00 PM

A group of faculty from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education has received a leadership training grant from the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for a new urban special education program. The grant, which totals more than $1 million, will operate the Urban Special Education Scholars (USES) program as a collaboration between Pitt SOE’s Special Education Program and the Center for Urban Education.

Doug Kostewicz, associate professor of Instruction and Learning, leads the team which includes IL’s associate professor Sheila Conway and assistant professor Rachel Robertson, along with Rich Milner, professor and director of the Center for Urban Education, and Lori Delale-O'Connor, assistant professor and CUE's associate director of research.

USES is a four-year program designed to prepare a team of five highly-qualified doctoral graduates with a focus in implementing multi-tiered systems of supports in urban settings.  Scholars will be prepared to provide in-service and pre-service preparation for teachers of high-need students with disabilities, to conduct and publish scholarly research that furthers the knowledge base and improves practice, and to serve in positions of leadership at local, state, or national levels.

The unique features reflect the strong commitment of the project leaders to design doctoral training that emphasizes an apprenticeship model in which fellows are mentored into the adjoining fields of special and urban education. Additionally, the program requires an Urban Classroom Internship and Research Study in which fellows will spend two semesters supporting special education teachers and students with special needs in an inclusive, high-poverty, high-needs school. Upon graduation and employment, the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh will continue to support fellows through an induction program.

Project leaders will begin recruiting special education doctoral candidates during the 2017-18 academic year with the scholars embarking on the inaugural USES year in Fall 2018.


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