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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2012 > Penn State Offers Scholarships for Special Education Master’s Degree and Certification

Penn State Offers Scholarships for Special Education Master’s Degree and Certification

Earn both a master's degree and certification in special education.

by Joe Savrock (January 2012)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State is in the fourth year of a grant to support graduate-level study in special education leading to certification, with emphasis on infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who have disabilities and their families.

Participants can earn both a master’s degree in special education and special education certification concurrently, with an emphasis in early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE). The program prepares graduates to fulfill employment roles working with infants and young children who have disabilities and their families.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, funds the program, known as “Preparing 21st Century Early Childhood Intervention Professionals at Penn State University to Serve Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families.”

“The support provided for students gives an excellent opportunity to pursue a graduate degree in an area where the federal government recognizes the need for more trained teachers; so jobs are out there,” said Kate McKinnon, director of the training grant. “Previous graduates have had great success getting jobs in early intervention programs, preschools, or primary grade inclusive classrooms.”

McKinnon, an associate professor of special education, received her doctorate training in EI/ECSE. She has practiced in the field and conducts research in the area of EI/ECSE.

Applications are currently being accepted for the upcoming program, which begins in summer 2012 and runs through summer 2013. The EI/ECSE grant includes scholarships in the amount of at least $12,500 for up to 15 months of study. For more information, contact McKinnon at