10/13/2004

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Contact: Paula Naughtin, School of Education, (785) 864-3758

KU's Special Education Department wins $800K grant for new doctoral program

LAWRENCE -- The Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas School of Education has received an $800,000, four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support a new doctoral program.

The majority of the funding, from the Office of Special Education, will directly support five full-time doctoral students a year.

Educators, researchers and other leaders are essential for students with disabilities, especially for those with emotional and behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders. The new doctoral program will prepare professionals to be special-education researchers, college professors, advocates and program managers.

The populations that will benefit most directly from the leadership program are children and youth who have such conditions as autism, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders and their families. Behaviors and characteristics commonly associated with these disorders place such children at risk for significant negative consequences at school, at home and in the community.

The doctoral training program also will provide professional development experiences through partnerships with three school districts. Two are in urban settings, Kansas City, Kan., and Hickman Mills, Mo. The third, the Leavenworth County public schools, will provide experiences in a small city and surrounding area.

Richard Simpson, professor of special education, and Brenda Smith Myles, associate professor of special education, will be faculty members for the program. Deb Griswold will be the project coordinator. For more information, contact Simpson or Griswold at (785) 864-0701.

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