$1.1 Million Grant for Training Professionals to Aid Youth With Disabilities 'Transition' to Adult Lives

Teaming for Transition faculty include, top from left: Johanna Thomas, Renee Speight and Brent Williams; and bottom: Peggy Schaefer-Whitby, Suzanne Kucharczyk and Tameeka Hunter. Not pictured is professor Sara Collie.
Submitted Photo

Teaming for Transition faculty include, top from left: Johanna Thomas, Renee Speight and Brent Williams; and bottom: Peggy Schaefer-Whitby, Suzanne Kucharczyk and Tameeka Hunter. Not pictured is professor Sara Collie.

Young adults with disabilities often struggle to transition from school to adult life. This can interfere with employment, community involvement, and overall independence.

An interdisciplinary group of College of Education and Health Professions faculty recently received a $1,079,177 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to prepare professionals who can help.

The "Teaming for Transition, Preparing Youth in Transition to Community and Work" faculty will select 31 scholars to complete their master's degrees — with tuition paid — in special education, vocational rehabilitation or social work with a specialization in transition programs and services. These specialists will help support youth with disabilities and their families as they plan for the future.

Applications are open now for the first cohort, which will begin coursework in summer 2022.

Scholars will earn a Graduate Certificate in Transition Services and a master's degree. Courses will be available online with experienced faculty and transition specialists. Scholars will complete the required internship hours at a high school or community program in their area.

Suzanne Kucharczyk, the principal investigator, said, "We are thrilled to offer this interdisciplinary approach to graduate student preparation, which will teach scholars to work together in using evidence-based practices and development of programs that predict success for adults with disabilities." Accepted graduate students will learn discipline-specific knowledge and practice along with expertise in transition programming and teaming to better prepare youth with disabilities for their futures.

This project extends the work of the previous Education Department Teaming for Transition grant, continues the partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education's work with the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C), leverages the lessons learned from Arkansas' PROMISE Model Demonstration Project, and builds on partnerships with high-need, rural high schools, the State's Parent Resource Center, and vocational rehabilitation and social work agencies.

Prospective scholars must be admitted to the graduate school, complete an online application, conduct an online interview, and be selected by the Teaming for Transition faculty.

Contacts

Ben S. Pollock, communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-4554, bpollock@uark.edu

Shannon Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

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