October 29, 2004

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Antonio D. Adams Student Assistant

VSU Faculty Member receives over $1.1 million grant from U.S.Department of Education

Dr. Nanci A. Scheetz, Professor in the Special Education & Communication Disorders Department, recently received a grant totaling $1,148,565 from the U.S. Department of Education for her proposal titled, ?Preparing Regional Interpreters to Meet the Demands in Education.?

The multi-state American Sign Language/Educational Interpreter Preparation Grant will support the preparation of 45 educational interpreters over a five-year period. It will prepare students to effectively interpret for deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled in K-12 public school programs in Georgia and Florida. Working together with the University of North Florida, students will be offered the opportunity to access courses through an innovative, comprehensive, web-based distant learning and a field-based program that includes video remote interpreting.

The program will target three potential groups of students: (1) rising university juniors who have declared American Sign Language/Interpreting as a major; (2) current teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing who would like to expand their skill set thus preparing them to serve in either capacity, and (3) those currently functioning in the role of educational interpreters who lack formal training. The scope of the grant is statewide thus providing students in both metropolitan and rural areas access to the program whereby they can earn a bachelor's degree in ASL/Interpreting from VSU.

Stipends will be awarded to students participating in the project to assist with tuition costs, purchase of textbooks and portfolio materials, as well as participation in established, geographically diverse observation and practicum/internship sites.

?This program will create a partnership with over 200 schools,? said Scheetz. ?The most positive part of the grant is that it is a win-win situation; for college students as well as public schools who will employ these future interpreters.?

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