CONTACT: Melinda Ault at or Margaret Bausch at, 859-257-4713


To apply, visit:

The University of Kentucky College of Education has received a grant to provide tuition support to scholars earning a Teacher Leader Master’s degree in Special Education (EDS) and scholars earning a Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) Master’s degree.

Ideas that work logoThe grant provides $12,000 ($24,000 total) per student each year of the EDS graduate master’s program (2 years total). The SPEAC-IT grant (Special Education and Communication-Interdisciplinary Training) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

Each year of the grant, a cadre of four EDS and four CSD students will learn together in an interdisciplinary program. At the completion of the program, EDS scholars will earn a Teacher Leader Master’s degree and will have completed shared coursework and activities with CSD scholars that focus on learners with complex communication needs.

All students receiving tuition support from a federally funded training grant are required to enter into a written service obligation agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. In this agreement, scholars are required to repay the scholarship by working in their field of study for 2 years for every academic year of support.

Applicants interested in the EDS program must be accepted into the University of Kentucky’s Graduate School and the Teacher Leader Master’s program. Priority will go to those applicants who are currently teaching students with severe disabilities and complex communication needs in high-needs schools.

In addition to the required coursework for their respective master’s degrees, EDS and CSD scholars will collaboratively participate in:

  • seminars presented by experts in the field of communication disorders and services to learners with severe disabilities;
  • three courses that focus on learners with complex communication needs;
  • shadowing of specialists in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and assistive technology in school settings; and
  • collaborative problem solving of communication challenges for learners in the EDS scholars’ classrooms.