A UF College of Education center will receive $5 million annually for the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant is to improve the preparation of special education teachers, general education teachers and school principals.
The UF Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform Center is working alongside special education groups and school districts in Florida, California, Connecticut, Illinois and South Dakota.
Mary Brownell, UF’s CEEDAR center director and a professor of special education, said the goal of the project is to ensure students with disabilities get a high-quality education.
“We work intensively with five states every year, up to 20 states, to improve their policies around preparation,” she said.
Brownell said this project will give UF a “tremendous amount of visibility” in the education community.
“It is a very high-profile center,” she said. “It is the largest project that has ever been awarded by the Office of Special Education Programs.”
Lindsay Brock, an 18-year-old UF public relations freshman, said she has a special appreciation for the goals and achievements of this program because her sister has autism.
“One day, I hope people with disabilities have a great education program that prepares them for a place like UF,” she said.
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 4/3/2014 under the headline "Education center to receive $5 million grant annually"]