The College of Public Service in the School of Health Sciences at Jackson State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Brandi L. Newkirk-Turner, Assistant Professor and Interim Chairperson in the Department of Communicative Disorders has received a $1,084,246 Personnel Preparation Grant Award through the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The project, Project Access, is designed to address the critical shortage of fully credentialed speech-language pathologists, including persons from culturally and linguistically diverse groups, who can provide specialized instruction and intervention to children with language and literacy disabilities in public schools including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Project Access will provide an enhancement to the existing Communicative Disorders Master of Science degree program by enrolling scholars in specialized courses and providing them with specialized clinical learning opportunities. Graduate students who will participate in the project will receive tuition, monthly stipends, book allowances, and conference registration fees.
I am absolutely thrilled to be able to contribute to graduate students’ education in a meaningful way and to in turn, help Mississippi’s public schools address its critical shortage of fully credentialed speech-language pathologists. By the end of the funding period (2014-2019), 20 students will have earned a Master of Science degree in Communicative Disorders with specialized training in language and literacy, will be eligible for national certification as a speech-language pathologist and will accept positions in school systems. The impact of this project is expected to be significant. In Mississippi, a school-based speech-language pathologist’s caseload, on average, is comprised of 45 students. If 20 fully credentialed speech-language pathologists who were trained as a part of this project serve a caseload of 45 children, 900 children with disabilities will be served annually. Given that one of the project’s areas of focus is on collaborative service delivery model, it is also expected that the project participants will share their specialized knowledge and skills of language and literacy with other personnel in their schools – further expanding the impact of this project.
Dr. Brandi Newkirk-Turner