Hofstra University’s School of Education has been awarded a $1.25 million federal tuition grant for its graduate-level childhood Special Education programs. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s 2016 Personnel Preparation program, Hofstra’s “School Age Low Incidence Scholars” (SALIS) program will support 47 graduate students over the next five years.
To be eligible, candidates must already hold a New York State teaching certificate in general education and must promise to work as special education teacher for two years for each year that they receive grant funding. Scholarships will cover 16 credits (more than $19,000) of a 37-credit master’s degree program. Completion of the program will give graduates certification in elementary special education, grades 1-6, and certification in teaching students with severe and multiple disabilities in grades K-12.
“The demand for teachers with preparation in teaching students with disabilities has increased dramatically with the move to inclusion in schools nationwide,” said Dr. Darra Pace, Director of Elementary Special Education Programs and Professor of Special Education, who, with Dr. Elfreda Blue, Chair of the Department of Specialized Programs in Education, secured the grant. “This degree prepares teachers to teach students across the range of disabilities, from the inclusive general education classroom to the self-contained setting. This grant permits the Special Education programs to provide substantial financial support as the students complete their studies in order to enter a growing job market.”
In fact, a recent New York Times article ranked majors with the highest employment rates for recent graduates, age 22 to 27, and special education was No. 2 on the list.
This recent round of funding is the third in three years awarded to Hofstra’s Special Education programs, bringing the total of tuition-based grants to $3,750,000. “The first two grants focused on preparing special educators at the early childhood level,” Dr. Pace said. “With the SALIS grant, we have expanded grant support for teacher candidates at the elementary (grades 1-6) developmental level. All of these grants offer teacher candidates multiple certifications, expanding their opportunities in special education.”
Please contact Dr. Pace at 516-463-6476 or Darra.A.Pace@hofstra.edu for information on how to apply for the SALIS scholarship.