School of Education Secures $1.4 Million Grant

October 19, 2011


BUFFALO, NY – The U.S. Department of Education awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant to the Canisius College School of Education and Human Services. The Special Education Pre-Service Program Improvement Grant will support the JUSTICE Project at Canisius. JUSTICE is an acronym for Justice for Underserved Students: Teacher Preparation in Inclusive Classroom Environments. The project is designed to enhance the curricula and field experiences of the special education and childhood education programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“The focus of JUSTICE is to ensure that our teacher candidates are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist high-need students and those who have high-incidence disabilities, so that these students meet state academic achievement standards,” explains Marya Grande, PhD, associate professor of education and the principal investigator of the grant. She notes that Canisius is one of only nine schools, nationwide, funded by this U.S. Department of Education grant. It is the largest award received by the School of Education and Human Services. 

“To be rated as one of the top applicants among this very qualified pool speaks to the determination and commitment of our faculty to find the resources to build upon the School’s K-12 special education teacher preparation program and ensure that its graduates are fully-credentialed to serve children with disabilities,” says Michael J. Pardales, PhD, dean of the School of Education and Human Services. 

Michele A. Marable, PhD, professor of education and Kelly A. Harper, PhD, assistant professor of education, are co-principal investigators of the grant. 

Special Education Pre-Service Program Improvement Grants support the improvement and restructuring (through expansion or redesign) of K-12 special education teacher preparation programs to ensure that graduates meet the highly-qualified teacher requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and effectively serve children with high-incidence disabilities. The term ‘high-incidence disability’ refers here to learning disabilities, emotional disturbance or intellectual disabilities. 

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit, Catholic colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.