Loyola Marymount University (LMU) received a $500,000 grant August 21st from the U.S. Department of Education for its special education teacher-preparation program.

The grant will assist the LMU School of Education to improve the quality of special education teacher preparation programs and ensure that graduates meet the more stringent teacher requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“This grant is an important step in increasing the numbers of highly qualified teachers in the special education field,” said Shane P. Martin, dean of the LMU School of Education. “LMU is dedicated to training skilled teachers who can make an impactful difference for their students with special needs.”

The grant will also address the specialized needs of children with high-incidence disabilities, including those with limited English proficiency; provide extended clinical learning opportunities, field experiences and mentoring opportunities in local schools; and use field-based training opportunities in high-poverty communities and in schools not making adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act, according to LMU officials.

The grant was funded in its entirety by the U.S. Department of Education and covers the first project of what is expected to be five-year projects overseen by the LMU Education Department’s Office of Special Education Programs.

During the first year, the grant recipients are scheduled to begin upgrading their teacher preparation programs with research-proven strategies designed to improve outcomes for children with high incidence disabilities.

LMU was one of two California schools that received such a federal grant.