OU teams up with University of Arkansas to ultimately help students with high-need disabilities

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A local university is working to make sure that future students with high-need disabilities get the education they deserve.

The University of Oklahoma and the University of Arkansas have teamed up for the ‘Razorback-Sooner Scholars: Leaders for Transition’ program.

The project will recruit, train, support and prepare higher education institutions to prepare future educators to help students with high-need disabilities, like those who have autism spectrum disorder.

Organizers say the project will provide a unique, funded doctoral experience for 10 students at the universities who want to be special education assistant professors.

“There is a shortage of university professors knowledgeable in transition education,” said Kendra Williams-Diehm, an associate professor of special education at OU. “This grant and partnership will help the next generation of professors, and thus pre-service educators, have this knowledge. It is very exciting.”

Organizers say there is a critical need across the country for teachers who know how to use evidence-based practices to improve the adult outcomes of students with disabilities.

The program is funded through a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

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