Monday, July 6, 2015

Portland State University awarded special education grant

Portland State University's own Professor Julie Esparza Brown recently secured a grant to prepare bilingual teachers for helping students with different abilities, The Oregonian reported on June 19th.  The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

While it can be hard for some people with autism and other different mental abilities to learn, the struggle is often even harder for those who have to learn in a language that is not their first.  Concepts that can be difficult to grasp in the first place become especially challenging when they are presented in a language that is foreign to the student, but that is the scenario many students in Oregon have to deal with if they have different mental abilities and limited English skills.  The grant will go toward funding of a master's degree program that will prepare bilingual teachers to assist such students.

The program will train future-teachers for one year full-time or two years part-time.  It will be co-directed by Julie Esparza Brown, an associate professor in PSU's Department of Special Education, and Sheldon Loman, an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education.  Teachers who come from the program will not only be able to help their own students succeed, they will also be able to help other special education teachers with their students when bilingual skills are needed.

Read the full story over at The Oregonian/OregonLive (and on PSU's news page here).

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