The Hampton University Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders has received a $1.2 million grant to train minority scholars to work in high poverty schools.
The grant from Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (DOE-OSEP), will provide tuition assistance to 24 highly-qualified communicative sciences and disorders graduate program candidates. These scholars will be focused on the acquisition of knowledge and the development of the specialized skills sets requisite for working with children living in high-need local education areas.
According to Dr. Carla J. Jones, the grant’s principal investigator and associate professor, the demand for speech-language pathologists has exceeded the available supply for many years.
“This gap is particularly applicable to the need for school-based clinicians where a pervasive shortage exists in both urban and rural high poverty settings nationwide,” said Jones. “Further, the gap in the number of certified minority speech-language pathologists continues to widen.”
According to the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, of the approximately 140,000 certified speech-language pathologists, only 6.9 percent are racial minorities. HU’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, founded by Dr. Robert M. Screen, is not only the oldest degree-granting program at an Historically Black College or University, it has trained more African-American Speech-Language Pathologists than any other Institution in the Nation. Thus, this funding provides a much needed impetus which will be most helpful in the recruitment of minority undergraduate students from collaborative institutions into the Department’s Graduate Program.
Drs. Tamara Freeman-Nichols and Dorian Lee-Wilkerson are co-investigators on the grant.