September 22, 2008
An $800, 000 dollar grant, awarded to UVa's Curry School of Education will help offset tuition and prepare the next wave of special education teachers.
“The U.S. Department of Education put out a call announcing that they would like to attract teachers to early childhood education and early intervention,” assistant professor of education, Tina Stanton-Chapman said.
Professors say that because doctors identifying kids with learning disabilities at an early age, there is a greater need for teachers at the early childhood level.
“We're identifying kids as early as birth or sometimes one or two years old and
because we're doing that we have a need for teachers in order to have a quality teacher to provide them.
Qualifying students must have a 3.0 GPA and a strong desire to help children with disabilities.
“If they're really interested in this area it helps pay for their tuition and that's less that they or their parents have to pay,” Stanton-Chapman said.
If a student accepts the tuition, they must agree to spend four years teaching in the field of early childhood intervention or early childhood education.
“Many of our students are equipped to pay their tuition for four years, but most of them have a 5th year in their program that they really getting this tuition coverage is beneficial,” professor of education, Martha Snell said.
The Curry School is now screening students who qualify for the grant. The funding will become available on January 1, 2009.