Marshall receives grant to assist students with disabilities

West Virginia

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Marshall University has received a five-year grant totaling more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The grant is for a program that will develop qualified special educators and mental health providers to assist students with disabilities that may have been caused by prenatal substance exposure, complex traumatic stress, adverse childhood experiences and/or adverse community environments.

We know that the opioid crisis has affected our state in a really negative way and we’re seeing it in our children. Our children are having problems academically, socially, behaviorally, and the skills that we are going to be helping our students learn through this grant are really going to make a difference.” 

Sandra Stroebel, Associate dean of Marshall’s College of Education

Dr. Lanai Jennings, assistant professor and director of the school psychology program at Marshall, said that the program will give evidence-based training to graduate students who will receive a master’s or specialist degree in special education, school counseling or school psychology.

This week is School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW), and the theme is “Find Your Focus.” Which can have a variety of meanings such as paying attention, being able to see an idea more clearly, identifying an area of interest, or being persistent and determined in one’s effort.

Second-year graduate school of psychology student at Marshall, Beth Stufin, says oftentimes what school psychologists do is often misconceived.

“So many people think that we just do IQ testing, but we do so much more, we have a huge scope of practice, we’re constantly working with principals, teachers, general education, special education, we do counseling and crisis intervention, we do so many different things and so many people don’t know that our practice is such a large scope, said Sutfin.

The grant will start applying to Marshall graduate students in January of 2020. Nearly 70% of grant is allocated for student tuition waivers .

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