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$1.5 Million Awarded to University of Illinois at Chicago for National Technical Assistance Center for Minority Institutions


The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of a $1.5 million grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago for a national center to help minority institutions seek funding opportunities for projects that serve students with disabilities, especially in personnel development.

Using grant writing workshops, Web sites, mentoring and other techniques, the project officially known as the “National Outreach and Technical Assistance Center on Discretionary Awards for Minority Institutions” will focus its efforts on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority institutions of higher education.

“By targeting minority institutions that train special education personnel, we will ultimately be lending a hand to the children with whom these future teachers and specialists will be working and thus, help close the achievement gap,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

The project’s four main objectives are:

* To maintain communications with HBCUs and other minority institutions of higher education and provide an array of technical assistance services.
* To preserve the competitive status of HBCUs and other minority institutions in the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs’ personnel preparation competitions.
* To help HBCU and other minority institution faculty improve their personnel preparation programs. And,
* To produce Web-based personnel preparation modules.

The project is ultimately planned as a five-year effort with the $1.5 million grant supporting the first year’s activities. Funding is being provided through the Education Department’s Office of Special Education Programs under its Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities.


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