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MSU gets Bush Foundation grant

Minot State University’s Special Education Department was approved for a Bush Foundation grant to develop a new approach to recruiting, training, and retaining special education teachers. The grant will fund Project PIPELINE which will draw together project directors from Certification Central, Minot State University, and Dakota College at Bottineau. Holly Pedersen is Minot State University’s special education chair.

"This grant is going to really create a seamless pipeline or pathway for students to become special education professionals. And so, it will go from the para-professional level to high school students, then on to an associate's degree, to special ed technicians, then finally on to special ed teachers. And really the purpose of the grant is to create a system that is very seamless and easy for students to navigate, so that all the organizations can really work together — reduce red tape, break down any barriers that there might be — for students moving from different points along that pipeline."

The grant is meant to address the shortage of special education teachers in North Dakota.

"Last year in our state, there were about 50 positions that went unfilled. That is a problem nationwide in special education. We want to try to address this problem and be flexible, create new pathways and easier pathways for students to be able to choose special education as a profession."

The grant amounts to more than $200,000.

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