|Contact:||Jeff Hale, 277-2915 or
Michael Padilla, 277-1816
Jan. 24, 2001
UNM College of Education receives $65,000 grant for Teacher Training
for Inclusive Practices
The University of New Mexico College of Education (COE) has received a $65,000
grant from the New Mexico State Department of Education to assist the state
in widespread efforts to improve education and school participation for students
The grant will help New Mexico comply with requirements of the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by helping teachers educate students
in more inclusive environments.
The money will be devoted primarily to tuition one or two classes per
student paid for via scholarships within the COE for students (primarily
future K-12 classroom educators), taking courses in the Colleges Special
Education-Emphasis in Mental Retardation and Severe Disabilities department.
In addition to student scholarships, selected school districts across New Mexico
will get support with research and technical assistance. The grant is currently
providing tuition assistance to approximately 55 students taking courses in
the COEs Special Education-Mental Retardation and Severe Disabilities
College of Education Dean Viola E. Florez said the grant is important because
it displays the high caliber and strong motivation of the Colleges faculty
in the Special Education-Mental Retardation and Severe Disabilities Emphasis.
This grant exemplifies the Colleges commitment to providing quality
educators in areas of high need across New Mexico, she said. This is the
fourth grant from public and private sources which the COE has received within
the past few months that involves training and/or advanced professional development
to assist education students and K-12 educators statewide in areas of high need
across New Mexico.
Florez said she is extremely pleased for the 55 or so COE students who will
benefit directly from the scholarships this grant provides for. Many of
our students rely upon scholarship assistance of this type in order to be able
to juggle school, work, and personal lives, she said.
Ruth Luckasson, J.D., Regents Professor, Coordinator of Emphasis in Mental
Retardation and Severe Disabilities within the COE, said she is pleased to be
able to work with the state to increase the number of special education teachers
who can support students with disabilities in their neighborhood schools.
All children can learn and all children should be valued members of their
school learning communities, Luckasson said. It is very important
for families to be able to work with teachers and schools who welcome students
with disabilities and are prepared to teach them in the least restrictive environment.
Jennifer Ingham, first year COE graduate student and scholarship recipient
from this grant, said she is grateful for the opportunity for the award.
This tuition money has enabled me to work within my department, providing
me with the best possible opportunity for out-of-class experiences, Ingham
said. Along with the excellent departmental support received by the professors
in the Mental Retardation and Severe Disabilities emphasis, the benefits have
allowed me to continue to further my education.
Bob Pasternack, State Director of Special Education for the New Mexico Department of Education said that inclusion is one of the most perplexing issues for students with disabilities and their families. This project will enhance the capacity of public schools in New Mexico to increase the number of students with disabilities being educated in inclusive settings, he said.
Based on research done in other states, this should improve results for
all students, not just students with disabilities.
COE anticipates that the grant will continue for 18 months, with the possibility of additional funding for the next academic year.
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of New Mexico
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