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College of Education > News and Publications > News: October - December 2013 > New Scholarship Aims to Increase Special Education Faculty

New Scholarship Aims to Increase Special Education Faculty

The TIPS Program in the College of Education offers $36,000 per year to students interested in pursuing their doctorate in special education.
New Scholarship Aims to Increase Special Education Faculty

Paul Riccomini

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Penn State is offering scholarships supporting graduate-level study to become special education faculty members. The goal of the program is to produce highly trained and prepared individuals with the necessary research knowledge and teaching skills to be successful professors in special education. The program in the College of Education, called Training in the Professoriate for Special Education (TIPS), includes scholarships and other financial support in the amount of $36,000 per year.

David Lee
David Lee
Participants will earn their doctorate in special education. To be eligible, individuals must have at least two years of full-time service in special education or a closely related field, and plan to seek a faculty position in an institution of higher education after graduation.

“TIPS provides strong students access to a nationally recognized doctoral program in special education,” said David Lee, associate professor of special education and program co-director. “Special education faculty members are in high demand nationwide. These faculty members provide the infrastructure for research and teacher training in special education. This infrastructure is key in providing effective services for children with disabilities.”

TIPS is a federally funded program that provides financial and academic support to full-time doctoral students in special education at Penn State.

“Often times working professionals can't leave their jobs for financial reasons,” said Lee. “TIPS makes it possible for professionals with teaching experience to come back for advanced-level training.”

Lee and Paul Riccomini, the co-director of the program and associate professor of special education, are both products of doctoral scholarship programs similar to TIPS.

Applications are currently being accepted for the upcoming program, which begins in fall 2014. For more information, contact Lee at or Riccomini at

--by Kevin Sliman (November 2013)