New program included

Starting this spring, the School of Education will be accepting students for Project INCLUDE (Inclusive Collaborative Leaders United for Diversity Education).

Project INCLUDE will offer students the opportunity to major in an education degree program and receive certification in teaching special education.

“We want to infuse special education competency throughout the program,” said Miriam Lipsky, the project manager.

Prior to this, the School of Education offered special education as a separate degree program. Declining interest led them to reconfigure the program.

“We have been working on revising the syllabus since last spring,” Lipsky said.

Acceptance to the program is similar to declaring a major.

“We hope to prepare teachers to teach in an inclusive program with all sorts of diversity including cultural, linguistic and economic,” Lipsky said.

After graduating from this program, students will be ready for dual certification in elementary or higher education, and special education and will be eligible for ESOL and reading endorsements.

“These teachers will be highly qualified to teach in many different settings,” Lipsky said.

To implement the program, the School of Education received a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Lipsky has received positive feedback from several students, some of who are eager to enter the program early.

“I had one girl who graduated and was disappointed we hadn’t implemented the program earlier,” Lipsky said.