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A University of Nebraska-Lincoln program looks to address the shortage of special needs educators in rural areas. 

With a $1.9 million grant, faculty from UNL’s Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders will train six doctoral students in fall 2020, according to Nebraska Today.

The program aims to develop leaders in the field with knowledge for both the elementary and college classrooms, associate professor Michael Hebert said in the article. 

“There is a shortage of special education teachers and leaders who can train those teachers,” he said. “With this grant, we will develop six leadership personnel with expertise in the design and implementation of academic interventions, as well as teaching at the college level and providing professional development opportunities for rural schools.”

All six students will receive a yearly $28,000 stipend in addition to fully paid tuition and other financial support, according to Nebraska Today.  

About half of the funding for the program is from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, and the rest is from the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic and UNL’s Office of Graduate Studies, according to the article.  

The program is seeking current teachers interested in a leadership role in special education, and rolling admissions are currently open. Priority will be given to applications received by Jan. 15.