Campus: CSU Chico -- January 28, 2002
CSU Chico Special Education Program Receives Major Federal Grants
The Department of Professional Studies in Education at California
State University, Chico has received two major federal grants totaling
$2.3 million to support special education teaching. Both grants are from
the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education
and Rehabilitative Services.
The first grant was awarded under the competition for the preparation
of special education personnel. It was intended to help prepare teachers
to serve infants, toddlers and children with severe disabilities. A total
of 133 applications were reviewed, and only 33 applicants were funded.
Of the 33 grants given, CSU, Chico's was rated number one.
This grant will award 125 CSU, Chico intern teachers over the next five
years a stipend of $6,600 to pay for travel, fees, books and supplies
while they receive their Education Specialist Moderate/Severe credential
and/or Special Education Early Childhood Certificate. This project recruits,
prepares and supports special education teachers for pupils with severe
disabilities in high poverty rural schools. Specialized recruitment strategies
are designed to attract and support candidates from underrepresented populations,
especially including those with disabilities.
Individuals interested in pursuing careers as teachers of pupils with
severe disabilities may contact their local county schools office regarding
qualifications for internship positions. They may also contact Denise
Dion, CSU, Chico special education internship adviser, at 530-898-5575.
The second grant was awarded under the preparation for high incidence
or mild to moderate disabilities personnel competition. Of the 145 applicants,
27 were awarded the grant. CSU, Chico was rated second in this category.
This project provides a long-term response to the challenges of improving
the preparation of personnel to serve school-aged children with mild to
moderate disabilities and of meeting the staffing needs in a large region
experiencing shortages of these personnel.
The four-year grant awards each of the 100 recipients a $5,200 scholarship
to cover fees, books and supplies. Individuals interested in pursuing
careers as teachers of pupils with mild to moderate disabilities may contact
the CSU, Chico Concurrent and Education Specialist Program Office for
information at 530-898-6887.
More than $6 million in federal and state grants has been secured by CSU,
Chico special education faculty in the past 12 years. Grant funding annually
supports full student scholarships and provides mentor teachers to assist
special education interns in the program's 46,000-square-mile service
The need for teachers in the special education field is increasing for
many reasons, such as medical advancements that have made it possible
for more children with disabilities to attend public school. Professor
Mary Jensen, special education consultant, said, "CSU, Chico special
education faculty have developed innovative programs that are distinguished
in the state and nation for their ability to prepare teachers for tomorrow's
Graduates of the CSU, Chico programs have had a 100 percent employment
record, working as special educators or as general education teachers
prepared to meet the diverse learning needs of special populations. Retention
records provided by public school partners indicate CSU, Chico special
education program graduates are retained in their positions at a rate
50 to 70 percent higher than statewide teacher retention averages.
Further training and certification for special education teachers is necessary
due to the nature of their work. Jensen said, "I believe these two
major awards to our special education program will greatly assist our
university and our region's public schools in recruiting very capable
and dedicated teachers for children and youth with disabilities."