Michigan State University is part of a higher education consortium providing all-expenses-paid training for the next generation of leaders who will help students with complex special needs.
Seven universities across the U.S. are part of the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention, or NCLII-2, in the center’s second round of funding. MSU's special education doctoral program joins the consortium supported by $6.4 million from OSEP.
Adrea Truckenmiller, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the College of Education, will mentor students in the special education doctoral program. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, or OSEP.
"Participants in the special education doctoral program will develop leadership and expertise in intensive intervention for students with complex learning and behavioral difficulties," said Truckenmiller.
The consortium will train scholars specialized in conducting research on and meeting the needs of those with comorbid and complex learning and behavior difficulties, or CLBD.
MSU doctoral students will receive four years of tuition, fees and stipends, as well as travel funding, additional summer stipends and costs covered for a computer — plus an additional fifth year of full funding through MSU.
"After graduation, these scholars will be among the most highly sought-after candidates to be leaders in the field addressing the shortage of qualified special education researchers," Truckenmiller added.
BECOMING A LEADER IN SPECIAL EDUCATION — AT MSU
Eunsoo Cho, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the College of Education, is the MSU lead for the Vanderbilt University-led initiative.
Including Vanderbilt and MSU, the consortium is comprised of the University of Connecticut, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Minnesota, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Georgia.
"The real benefit of this program is the opportunities for collaboration," said Cho. "In addition to a strong foundation in research methods and interventions, students will have direct access to a network of scholars and international leaders in special education and opportunities for cross-institutional, collaborative research projects."
Collaborative opportunities across the seven participating universities and other elements of immersive training will be integrated in MSU's special education doctoral program, ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
"At MSU, we are known for our strong research record and faculty who are experts in assessment and literacy, including both reading and writing," Cho said.
With that expertise comes one-on-one interaction with faculty members such as Cho, Truckenmiller and Gary Troia, associate professor of the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education in the College of Education, also leading the integration of NCLII-2 at MSU.
"This represents a tremendous opportunity at MSU," Troia said. "We're investing in a collaborative multisite program dedicated to the development of future scholars and leaders who will meet the needs of children with complex behavioral and learning disabilities, their families and their educators."