GSE awarded three grants totaling over $2.7 million

Vocational rehabilitation grant awarded to Counselor Ed

A new $753,310 grant has been awarded to the GSE’s Counselor Education faculty by the US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Drs. Hanoch Livneh and Tina Anctil recently learned they will be able to train more rehabilitation counselors to fill a growing gap in the vocational rehabilitation field. Working with the Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS), the grant will provide scholarship dollars to recruit, train, and place 70 qualified and competent rehabilitation counselors by the year 2017.

The 2011 OVRS plan outlines an increased need in Oregon over the next five years to prepare qualified rehabilitation counselors. OVRS projects a need for 56 new qualified hires to fill eminent vacancies at their agency, as well as 20 percent more new Qualified Rehabilitation Professionals (QRPs) for vacancies in OVRS-affiliated agencies.

Keeping students in school: childcare grant for student parents

Dr. Will Parnell (Curriculum and Instruction: Early Childhood Education), Ellie Justice (Director, Helen Gordon Center) and Lola Lawson (Coordinator, Student Parent Services) have received a grant for $697,330 from the US Department of Education to provide additional childcare services on campus, to provide additional staff development for child care personnel, and to subsidize childcare fees for low-income student families.

One of the major reasons PSU student parents cite for leaving school is the difficulty of arranging sufficient childcare while attending classes. With an average student age of 27.5, PSU has a large number of students who are working and raising families while seeking degrees. Services to PSU student parents have not kept pace with the rate of campus enrollment growth. PSU has two childcare facilities on campus: the short-hour center in Smith Memorial Student Union and the Helen Gordon Child Development Center—both subsidized with student fees and providing services to low-income students. Waiting lists for these facilities tops 500 to 800 families.

RELATED STORY: A recent grant to fund a study for additional child care facilities on the PSU campus was reported in the 2010 GSE Annual Report in September.

American Indian Urban Teacher Project awarded over $1 million

Dr. Micki Caskey from the Graduate School of Education and Dr. Cornel Pewewardy from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have collaborated on a unique grant intended to enlist more Native Americans to be Oregon teachers.

The Portland metro area has the largest Native American population in Oregon, yet very few Native Americans are represented among the ranks of Oregon’s 33,000 teachers. Dr. Caskey and Mr. Pewewardy intend to change that.

The grant, called American Indian Urban Teacher Project, is from the US Department of Education and provides $1.2 million to train 18 new fully-qualified Native American teachers. This will considerably increase the number of Native American teachers in Oregon who will work in schools with significant numbers of Native American students.

The grant will be administered by the Graduate School of Education and will be distributed over the next four years.

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