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IDEA: Effects on the Higher Education Community in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

Professional Development Grants

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) offers State Personnel Preparation and Professional Development Grants. IDEA allows the U.S. Secretary of Education to give priority in awarding these grants to states that:

  1. have the greatest personnel shortages; or
  2. demonstrate the greatest difficulty in meeting Part B requirements for personnel qualifications.

To be considered for a grant, state education agencies are required to

  1. establish a professional development partnership (PDP) with local educational agencies (LEAs) and other state agencies involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with disabilities, including institutions of higher education and the state agencies responsible for administering IDEA Part C, childcare, and vocational rehabilitation programs; and
  2. work in partnership with other persons and organizations involved in and concerned with the education of children with disabilities.

For Part D, Subpart 1, State Personnel Development Grants, the law authorizes funding as "such sums as may be necessary."

For more information about eligibility, applications, and contact information go to Applicant Information.

Reference: P.L.108-446, Title I, Part D, Sections 651-655; for funding: Part D, Section 655

For Part D, Subpart 2, Personnel Preparation, Technical Assistance, Model Demonstration Projects, and Dissemination of Information, the law authorizes funding as "such sums as may be necessary."

The law on technical assistance and demonstration projects requires such activities to be rooted in scientifically based research. IDEA gives priority to applications that propose to:

  1. serve teachers and school personnel directly in the school environment; or
  2. strengthen the capacity of states and LEAs to improve instruction practices of personnel serving children with disabilities.

The law directs the Secretary to support certain activities concerned with, among other things:

  1. inappropriate behavior of students;
  2. valid and reliable yearly progress assessments;
  3. different learning styles of children with disabilities; and
  4. effective transition to post-school settings.

IDEA has two education personnel training programs: (1) a beginning special educators’ program, which adds a 5th year clinical learning opportunity; and (2) a program to assist general educators (including principals and administrators) in having the skills, knowledge, and leadership training to meet the needs of children with disabilities.

Grant applicants are directed to focus on the following priority:

to increase the number and quality of personnel who are fully credentialed to serve children with disabilities, especially in areas of chronic shortage, by supporting projects that prepare special education, early intervention, and related services personnel at the associate, baccalaureate, master's and specialist levels. In order to be eligible under this priority, programs must provide training and support for students to complete, within the term of the project, a degree and/or State certification, professional license, or State endorsement in early intervention, special education or related services.

For more information about this grant competition go to Preparation of Leadership Personnel.

Reference: P.L.108-446, Title I, Part D, Section 667

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