Current Grant Projects

Special Education Urban Research for Greater Equity

Project SURGE (Special education Urban Research for Greater Equity) builds on an existing doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to prepare six doctoral students from underrepresented groups to develop culturally responsive research to serve children and youth with disabilities with intensive support needs in urban environments.

This interdisciplinary program will be guided by the following four competency areas: (a) special education policy processes and analysis, (b) special education pedagogy and program design, and teacher research in urban settings, (c) research methodologies to conduct sustainable interventions to underrepresented populations in under-resourced schools, and (d) collaboration with stakeholders (e.g. families, community entities, policy makers and other researchers). UIC is a Minority Serving Institution and a Research 1 university, making it a unique context for such preparation. Proven approaches will be used to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups such as a cohort model that allows for doctoral scholars to move together through coursework.

Urban Educators

The Preparation of Leadership Personnel: Urban Educators scholarship builds on our established special education doctoral program.

The project goals were to recruit teachers with experience in urban schools, provide opportunities to enhance their research knowledge and skills, and prepare them to be leaders with expertise in working with high-need urban students with disabilities and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Upon completion of the doctoral program, scholars will be well prepared to assume higher education faculty positions in special education and conduct high quality special education research.

Leaders in Intensive Interventions

This grant project from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Projects and the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLII) provided scholarships to cover tuition, university fees and a stipend of $24,000 per year. NCLII scholars will participate in a cross-university collaboration that will allow them to draw on the expertise of leading researchers in special education. These activities also assist scholars in developing national contacts that are essential for fostering successful careers in higher education. During the four year program, project scholars complete comprehensive coursework, residencies in research and participate in collaborative network activities designed to prepare them to be successful special education scholars.

Special Education Leaders for Urban Centers of Tomorrow

The Special Education Leaders for Urban Centers of Tomorrow (SELECT) scholarship offers fully-paid tuition and fees to the UIC PhD Special Education program with the goal of preparing experts in developing effective, data-driven programming for students with disabilities.  Additional funding supports student research and travel and book stipends.  Through interdisciplinary coursework and participation in a series of Leadership Residences and Forums, scholars develop the critical leadership skills needed to design, implement and evaluate special education programming for students with disabilities.