Case Western Secures New $1.25 Million Federal Grant

Cleveland - A five-year, $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to Case Western Reserve University will support students training to help children with developmental and educational needs.

“Many children need extra help in their educational journey. Teachers cannot do it alone,” said Elizabeth Short, a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve. “Training professionals to provide supports is of paramount importance—they are on the frontlines providing the necessary help to optimize the development of children.”

“We are eager to offer vital training that meets a real need in our community and beyond,” she said. “Professionals in these fields are in such high demand.”

The grant will support the training of at least 40 students across a five-year time period—20 developmental psychologists and 20 speech language pathologists—and curriculum will emphasize inter-professional education,

The training program will embrace the notion that educating students to work in teams—which span a range of specialties—is essential for effective early intervention.

In addition to earning a master’s degree in developmental psychology or communication sciences, graduating students will be eligible to apply for certification from the State of Ohio as an early intervention/developmental specialist.

“Working with families and with children with educational, emotional, linguistic, behavioral, and medical complications often necessitates professionals from a variety of disciplines to work together,” said Short. “Training students to be team players at the start of their professional and academic journey is a model that works.”

The grant is a joint venture between the two branches that comprise the Department of Psychological Sciences: psychology and Communication Sciences; the collaborative team includes Short; Barbara Lewis, a professor; Amy Przeworski, an associate professor; Rita Obeid, a full-time lecturer, Angela Ciccia, an associate professor; and Kay McNeal, an instructor—all in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“There is community enthusiasm surrounding our new program. The addition of new professionals dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art early intervention services to children in our community is exciting,” said Short. “We are investing in the educational journey of graduate trainees so they can dedicate their time and attention to developing a toolkit that will change the educational course for our youngest learners.”

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