As the Emporia State’s Teachers College Special Education Fellowship Program is gearing up for its fourth year, it will have a $52,000 increase in funding and will be able to take on 25 graduate fellowship students, instead of 15. Their funding will increase from $64,000 to $116,000.
“We literally could not do this without the funding,” said Marjorie Bock, director of the program and professor. “It’s a very very intense, involved program with lots and lots of mentoring and guidance for them.”
The program is an online, 11 month fellowship that leads to a high incident special education endorsement, according to Bock. The funding is critical because without it the recent graduates would be able to complete the program, since most have just graduated with debt from their undergraduate.
Forty-four students have completed the program so far, according to emporia.edu.
“People who participate in this already have a teaching degree in either elementary or secondary education,” Bock said. “They normally started teaching special education working on what the State of Kansas calls a ‘waver.’ That means they’re teaching special education before they’ve had any special education training, typically.”
The program was designed with this in mind, according to Bock.
“The struggle for them is to become trained very quickly while they’re also working with youngsters with disabilities in the schools,” Bock said.
The program is currently taking applications, which must be submitted by May 1, according to Bock. Anyone who is graduating this year to become a teacher is eligible to apply.