to Focus on Multicultural Issues in Special Education
29, 1999 -- The University of Virginia's Curry
School of Education has received a federal grant to help meet
a national shortage of teachers and administrators knowledgeable
about minority issues in special education.
U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Curry School $674,542
to create a Multicultural Special Education Leadership Training
Project. The grant will allow U.Va. doctoral students to gain an
unusual understanding of ethnic and cultural issues in special education
through academic work with both U.Va. faculty and those at historically
black universities in the region.
the United States few minority students are pursuing doctorate degrees
in education, national data shows, and the U.S. is facing a shortage
of leaders knowledgeable about multicultural issues in special education.
special education services are provided disproportionately to youths
of color. At the same time, gifted programs are provided to a disproportionately
high number of white children. It is critical that universities
graduate future teachers and
who are knowledgeable about the cultural and educational ramifications
of such findings and work to address them," said education professor
James Kauffman, who is project director and co-principal investigator.
three-year grant, which was awarded this fall, will allow U.Va.
faculty to develop courses, symposia and internships that focus
on minority issues in special education with faculty at historically
black colleges and universities such as Virginia Union University,
Hampton University, Norfolk State University, and North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical State University.
faculty from some of these schools will teach at least one seminar
session at U.Va. each semester, and Curry faculty will be occasional
guest instructors at the participating universities. In addition,
each of the participating institutions, including U.Va., will hold
colloquia devising specific procedures for multicultural special
their final year of doctoral study students in the training project
will serve as interns and teach courses at one of the historically
black universities. Faculty from the historically black institutions
will be invited to serve on the students' doctoral committees.
feature that appealed to the people reviewing our grant proposal
was the exchange of work between U.Va. and the historically black
institutions," Kauffman said.
and students will also work closely with U.Va.'s Center of Minority
Research in Special Education and the University of New Mexico's
New Alliance Project, a program that promotes educational services
grant will support six students pursuing doctorate degrees. Students
selected for the training must, in addition to meeting normal admission
requirements, demonstrate a strong interest in multicultural issues
in teacher education, Kauffman said.
date four students have been selected and have begun their first
year of study.