Dr. Jenny Wells with COE students

The Department of Special Education (SPED) in the College of Education (COE) was awarded a $952K grant by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services. Over the next four years, the Hoʻolako Project will prepare 30 special education scholars with specialized skills to meet the needs of students with severe behavioral and learning needs in remote, rural, and impoverished areas within Hawaiʻi. The grant provides funding for the recruitment and tuition of these experienced special educators.Through a high quality two-year program, participants will earn a master of education degree (MEd) with a severe disabilities/autism emphasis. The program combines coursework and integrated practicum experiences in a hybrid distance education format.

“We have a well-established program; however, with the high costs of living in Hawaiʻi, it is difficult for special educators to fund a graduate degree program, leading to decreased enrollment,” explained the project’s director, Associate Professor Jenny Wells. “Project graduates will provide a much needed resource to the students, schools, and high needs communities they serve.”

Recruitment will begin statewide in August 2015, and the first cohort of 15 MEd candidates will begin in January 2016. For more information, please visit https://coe.hawaii.edu/sped/.

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