The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has awarded faculty within the Florida State University College of Education a four-year, $800,000 grant to support teacher education in the field of visual impairment.
Amy McKenzie, an assistant professor in the college’s department of childhood education, reading and disability services, is the principal investigator of the grant, which is intended to support programs at FSU’s main campus in Tallahassee and a satellite campus in Miami as they train undergraduate and graduate students to become teachers of students with visual impairments. Teacher preparation in the field is in high demand throughout the United States.
"There is an essential need for teachers of students with visual impairments, both on a national and a state level," McKenzie said. "The Florida Department of Education recognizes teachers of students with visual impairments as a critical teaching need area."
Sandra Lewis, an associate professor in the department of childhood education, reading and disability services, is co-principal investigator for the project.
The primary goal of the program is to increase the number of highly qualified, diverse personnel necessary to provide appropriate services to people with visual disabilities. Research efforts will focus on four initiatives:
- Undergraduate teacher preparation
- Support of interdisciplinary graduate teacher preparation
- Aggressive recruitment efforts
- A mentoring program
More information about the College of Education and the department of childhood education, reading and disability services can be found at www.coe.fsu.edu.