Universities Join Forces for Special Education PhD Program

A multi-ethnic group of students arrive at university through the main entrance.

The University of Arkansas (U of A) and the University of Oklahoma (OU) have joined forces to improve education-to-employment transition services for young people with disabilities via a program called “Razorback-Sooner Scholars: Leaders for Transition.”

The program will fully fund doctoral degrees with a certificate in special education transition services for 10 students at U of A and OU who aspire to be professors in this area.

In addition to covering tuition and fees, the program provides an annual stipend for up to four years, travel funding, mentoring, and a new laptop computer, among other benefits.

It is supported by a $2.4 million grant from the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs.

“There is a shortage of university professors knowledgeable in transition education, [but] this grant and partnership will help the next generation of professors, and thus pre-service educators, have this knowledge. It’s very exciting,” Kendra Williams-Diehm, an associate professor of special education at OU, told University of Arkansas News.

Ginger O’Donnell is a senior staff writer for INSIGHT Into Diversity. This article ran in the December 2019 issue.