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Special Education Program Receives Grant to Support Doctoral Students

Special education program in the Penn State College of Education receives federal grant to support doctoral students.

By Michelle Roche

The Special Education program in the Penn State College of Education has received a Preparing Outstanding Scholars for Special Education (POSSE) leadership grant. The federally funded grant provides support to full-time doctoral students studying special education at Penn State. Kathy Ruhl, professor of special education and head of the Department of Educational and School Psychology and Special Education, and Charlie Hughes, professor of special education, were instrumental in landing the grant.

The impetus for POSSE stems from the shortage of Ph.D.-level persons involved in the special education field. A primary objective of the grant is “implementing and managing an exemplary program that incorporates best practices for preparing professionals for outstanding faculty careers in institutions of higher education.” POSSE will provide academic, financial, and social support to help students achieve success in their studies and complete their degrees in a timely fashion. 

Currently, three students in the College of Education receive support from the grant. Hughes and Ruhl hope to include five more students by Fall 2008. The grant funds the students’ work for up to four years, providing them with more than $18,000 annually in addition to funds to support travel, texts, and research expenses associated with doctoral study. 

For additional information, contact Ruhl at klr3@psu.edu or 814-863-2012.