The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 17, 1999
May 17, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 35


Special Education Department Gets $706,000 Grant for Doctoral Program

Educators will learn to bridge gap between research and classroom

By Neil A. Grauer
School of Continuing Studies

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Department of Special Education in the Graduate Division of Education at the School of Continuing Studies has announced creation of a new doctoral program in special education, funded with a $706,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education--one of the largest grants ever received by the Special Education Department.

The grant will provide tuition scholarships for nine experienced special educators or related service personnel to undertake a four-year program titled "Leadership for School Improvement in Urban Settings." Scholarship recipients will pursue applied research and internships to find ways to bridge the chronic gap between what special education research uncovers, the subsequent policies that research inspires and practical application of these policies in the classroom.

"What goes on in schools frequently differs from what research tells us are the problems and what the established policies are that seek to address them," says Michael Rosenberg, chair of the Department of Special Education. "We want to develop a cadre of special education leadership personnel who will learn how to take the findings in research journals and implement them in the schools."

Rosenberg and Lawrence Larsen, a professor in the Department of Special Education, submitted a 40-page proposal for the grant to the U.S. Department of Education last fall.

"We consider ourselves very lucky to have received this award," Rosenberg says. "It is a highly competitive process to get one."

The nine doctoral students now being recruited from teaching and administrative staffs in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County schools need to meet four criteria. They must demonstrate a broad knowledge of best practices for students with diverse abilities; be prepared to conceptualize, administer and disseminate applied research efforts; provide leadership to those involved in special education service delivery; and be proficient in designing effective preservice and in-service training activities.

Applicants for the program must hold a master's degree and have at least three years' experience in delivering services to special education students.

The grant's size will enable the department to offer qualified applicants scholarships covering 90 percent of the annual tuition for a doctorate in special education. "We're thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity," Rosenberg says.