Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Preparing and supporting personnel in Western North Carolina to teach students with severe disabilities  

This project will produce 30 new teachers over a four-year period with degrees of B.S.Ed. or Master's of Assistive Technology in special education. It will also upgrade the skills of an additional 12 teachers who will earn Master of Arts in Education degrees. All degrees will result in initial or advanced state certification for teaching students with severe disabilities. For this project, students with severe disabilities include those students who are likely to require on-going supports throughout their lives. These are people with significant intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The project has three additional goals of: (a) improving participants? ability to base instruction on the general education curriculum; (b) improving skills in the use of Positive Behavior Supports to address challenging behavior; and (c) preparing participants to be more effective teachers of students with ASD. The project will use components of the university's long-established Teacher Support Program in order to help maintain teachers in their positions beyond graduation and thus address the issue of attrition. All goals of the project are based on documented regional, state and national needs. Students will enroll in one of three special education degree programs: M.A.Ed., M.A.T., or the B.S.Ed. degree. With the completion of their degrees, participants will earn North Carolina licensure in Adapted Curriculum or Severe/Profound Disabilities. In all coursework, students will acquire and demonstrate evidence-based practices for teaching students with severe disabilities. Courses will be offered in a traditional face-to-face manner, and online. Evaluations will be conducted to address the goals and impact of the project. The project will also work closely with local school districts, other departments within Western Carolina University, other colleges and universities, and with the members of the project's Special Education Advisory Board in order to assure the success of the project. Project Status


Funder Department of Education
Fiscal Year Funding $200,000.00
Current Award Period 2009-2013
Project Number H325K090210
Principal Investigator Cooper-Duffy, Karena
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 5: Where Can I Turn For Services? (Services)
Subcategory Practitioner Training
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 5LC. Evaluate new and existing pre-service and in-service training to increase skill levels in service providers, including direct support workers, parents and legal guardians, education staff, and public service workers to benefit the spectrum of people with ASD and promote interdisciplinary practice by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $8,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Western Carolina University
State/Country North Carolina
Web Link 1 Preparing and supporting personnel in Western North Carolina to teach students with severe disabilities (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
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