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They work together, now school psychologists and special education teachers can train together

They work together, now school psychologists and special education teachers can train together

October 16, 2019 at 3:00pm

FIU is creating an interdisciplinary program that could improve collaboration between special education teachers and school psychologists.
These two groups rarely train together. Yet in K-12 schools, they are expected to work together to evaluate special needs students and ensure individualized education plans are followed there.
The intitiative, called Project School Psychologists and Educators: Collaborative Interventions for All Learners, in FIU’s School of Education and Human Development, will do exactly that. Supported by a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education and $600,000 from FIU, these funds will provide tuition support for two cohorts, each with 10 school psychology specialist-level students and 20 master’s-level special education students. By training these 60 professionals, the program will help address critical shortages of school psychologists and special education teachers in Florida.
These students will work collaboratively across their programs to develop a robust set of skills that benefit students in Florida who have persistent and severe learning and behavioral challenges. Recruiting is already underway and the first cohort will begin in Summer 2020. Prospective applicants can email questions to
“Our scholars would be in a great position within teams at schools to help students with special needs,” said Andy Pham, associate professor of school psychology and co-director of Project SPECIAL. “They need to know how to share information and monitor progress to determine the best support or approach for children with disabilities.”
The program will feature hybrid courses and a 12-week in-person summer seminar offered in conjunction with the FIU Center for Children and Families.
“They will be specifically trained in intense, individualized interventions for children with disabilities,” said Elizabeth Cramer, a special education professor and director of the project. “This will make school psychologists more skilled in classroom interventions and will train educators to individualize support for students.”