BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The joint doctoral program in special education
offered by the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education
and Buffalo State College has received a federal grant to fund five
students as they work toward a doctorate in special education.
Applications are being accepted, with priority given to those
from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or
individuals with physical, vision, hearing or learning
disabilities. The deadline for applying is Nov. 15 for the Spring
The $800,000 leadership grant was received from the U.S.
Department of Education.
Successful candidates will receive funding to cover full tuition
and all college fees, a $16,000 fellowship, summer tuition and a
fellowship to prepare them to work in urban areas with culturally
and linguistically diverse students, as well as conference travel
and fee support. Interested participants also can complete courses
toward certification as a school district administrator.
Sharon L. Raimondi, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of
learning and instruction in the UB Graduate School of Education and
director of the program, says the positions are full-time and
applicants must be willing to relocate to the Buffalo area for the
duration of their course work, which will cover three to four
The goal of this grant is to produce educational leaders who
will help create a highly trained workforce to provide services for
students with disabilities.
"The ability of students with special needs to achieve
educational goals rests largely on the availability of educators
qualified to teach them," Raimondi says, "but there is in Western
New York and elsewhere a shortage of university faculty members in
the field of special education. The need for those with doctoral
degrees who can offer leadership and training in the field is
"Currently, 50 percent of undergraduate courses in special
education in Western New York's colleges and universities are
taught by adjunct faculty members who do not have terminal
degrees," she points out, "and the percentage jumps to 98 percent
for graduate courses."
Not only is there a dearth of individuals with doctorates to
teach special-education teachers, but, Raimondi notes, the New York
State Education Department and the National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education mandate that general education
teachers at all levels have some degree of competence in the
delivery of services to special students in the general education
She says this has produced a great demand for the leadership and
expertise of fully trained, special-education professors in
colleges and universities and administrators in school
Applicants for the program must have special-education
certification, a master's degree, a minimum score of 1,000 on the
GRE exam (qualitative and verbal) and three years' teaching
experience in the field of special education. References and a
writing sample also are required.
Information about the program can be found on the UB Graduate
School of Education Web site at http://www.gse.buffalo.edu/index.htm.
Interested applicants can contact. Raimondi at 716-645-2455
ext. 1143 or email@example.com.