September 13, 2021

Wyden, Merkley: PSU to Receive More Than $200,000 for Special Education Teaching Doctoral Program

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Portland State University (PSU) will received $200,000 grant for a doctoral program to tackle the shortage of special education teacher leaders.

All children deserve the opportunity to get a top-notch education that takes into account their needs and abilities,” Wyden said. “I applaud PSU for doing its part to tackle the shortage of special education teacher leaders, and hope this program continues to expand so there are even more quality teachers for students to learn from.”

“Children should have equal opportunity to learn and grow as students—regardless of their abilities or learning styles,” said Merkley. “I am pleased we can support PSU’s initiative to create a pathway to increase the number of special education professionals in our schools and enhance the quality of learning for all students. This is a critical step in removing educational barriers and ensuring our children are given the best education possible.”

The PSU program will provide doctoral training to professionals who want to work as special education leaders serving schools and early childhood programs. The doctoral program will develop knowledge, skills, and competencies for leading and implementing collaborative, culturally responsive improvement processes to address current problems of practice in special education. The project will also create a pathway in the Education PhD (EdD) program to attain an administrative license to address continuing shortages of special education leaders. PSU expects to recruit 15 doctoral candidates in the first year.

This specific project through PSU EdD program is funded through Personnel Preparation program of the United States Department of Education, which assists personnel who serve children with disabilities. The program also supports projects of national significance with broad applicability that serve children with disabilities.