$1.2 Million Grant at RIT/NTID Will Help Train Teachers of the Deaf

Story Highlights: 
  • The money will mainly be used for scholarships for MSSE students.
  • National need for more qualified teachers in science, technology, engineering and math for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
  • About 250 students have graduated from NTID's MSSE program since it began accepting students in 1995.
  • Employment rate for MSSE students is more than 90 percent within a year of graduation.

NTID’s Master of Science program in Secondary Education (MSSE) has received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help recruit and train teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing.

Much of the grant, over five years, will be used for scholarships to support students studying to become teachers of the deaf with a focus in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). In addition, prospective teachers of the deaf who are African American, Latin American, Native American and Asian American will be supported in an attempt to offset the national shortage of teachers with diverse backgrounds who are qualified to teach deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

“The United States faces a critical shortage of teachers qualifies to teach in STEM disciplines,” says NTID President Gerry Buckley. “The shortage of STEM teamers who are qualified to teach deaf and hard-of-hearing students is particularly pronounced. As a leader in technological education and in preparing teachers of the deaf, NTID is well positioned to help address this significant national need.”

Tuition assistance may be provided by the grant for up to 20 STEM students and 30 other students (including social studies, English, and American Sign Language) per year, a recruitment and training goal that addresses the identified national shortages, says MSSE Director Gerry Bateman, who authored the grant with faculty members Chris Kurz, Susan Lane-Outlaw and Harry Lang.

“This grant makes it possible to recruit and support the most competent students in their respective content areas,” Bateman says. “These future graduates will join the cadre of MSSE alumni who are highly qualified and caring teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students throughout the United States.”

About 250 students, a mix of deaf, hard of hearing and hearing, have graduated from the MSSE program since it began accepting students in 1995.

The program is one of the few dual-certification (deaf education plus content area expertise) programs at the secondary level of education in the United States. The employment rate for graduates range from 90 to 100 percent within a year of graduation, Bateman says.

Tuition assistance may be available for qualified students starting in September 2012. For more information, visit: www.ntid.rit.edu/msse.

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