To address the critical shortages of teachers in special education, the Virginia Department of Education has awarded a grant to Radford University to offer, tuition-free, the course, EDSP 651-Students with Diverse Learning Needs and the Special Education Process, to 120 individuals recommended by Virginia division superintendents or designees.  This summer, coursework for individuals interested in employment for the 2018-2019 school year will be taught as a compressed, five-week online course for one summer session, Summer II (June 25-July 31, 2018).

Among other requirements set forth in the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel: This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.  and state statute, individuals seeking a Provisional (Special Education) License with an endorsement in special education must complete a prerequisite course that includes “foundations for educating students with disabilities and an understanding and application of the legal aspects and regulatory requirements associated with identification, education, and evaluation of students with disabilities.”  The Radford University course will meet this course requirement.

The cost of applying to Radford University as a non-degree seeking student and the tuition for the course will be covered under the grant.  The only cost to participants will be the purchase of one $35 textbook.

Applicants should apply by Tuesday, May 29.  Space is limited to 120 participants, and each region will have approximately 15 slots with no more than two nominees from any one school divisions on a first-come, first served basis.  After May 29, any slots remaining will be awarded with geographic and division distribution consideration.

Nominees eligible to apply, must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college (transcripts must be submitted), have expressed a commitment to pursue the teaching field of special education, demonstrate a willingness to apply for open special education teaching positions in the nominating school division upon completion of the course, not have previously completed an equivalent course either at the undergraduate or graduate level, must not currently be employed or previously been employed under a provisional license in special education, and must be recommended by a school division superintendent or designee who has hired or is considering employing as a special educator in the 2018-2019 school year.

Applicants must submit the following forms:

  1. School Division Superintendent (or Designee) Recommendation Form.  This form attached should be submitted by the Division Superintendent or Designee to Radford University by the close of business on May 29.

    — Suffolk paraprofessionals interested need to complete Page 1 of this Word form linked here: School Division Superintendent or Designee Recommendation Form and submit it as an email attachment to Rodney Brown, SPS Director of Human Resources, by Sunday, May 27.   Please rename the Word file after completing Page 1 to your First Name Last Name (i.e. Bethanne Bradshaw)
  2. Online Participation Interest Form.  The Participant Interest Form: This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website.  must be completed by the nominated individual online by the close of business on May 29.


  3. Application to Radford University as a Non-Degree Seeking Student.  The accepted nominees will be notified by the Radford University grant staff.  Additional directions and assistance will be provided to participants about the process for applying to Radford University as a non-degree seeking student and course registration process.

For information about the course, please contact Dr. Debora Bays Wilbon, Program Area Leader, Special Education, Radford University, at dbays@radford.edu: Email link.  or (540) 831-5190.  You also may contact Dr. Liz Altieri, Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Special Education, Radford University at ealtieri@radford.edu: Email link.  or (540) 831-5590.  Please contact Ms. Johnelle Torbert, Special Education Human Resources Development Specialist, Virginia Department of Education, at Johnelle.Torbert@doe.virginia.gov: Email link.  or (804) 371-2475 if you have questions about this grant opportunity.