U faculty will be trained to work with disabled

by Nathan Whalen

The U.S. Department of Education awarded the University’s General College a $692,000 grant last week to pilot a national project for students with disabilities.
The grant, awarded by the curriculum transformation and disability division of the education department, will allow General College to create a model for teaching college students with disabilities.
“We expect to reach 1,000 faculty members in the next three years,” said Judy Fox, project director.
The training will take place between fall and spring semesters and will consist of about 20 hours of classroom and one-on-one training to be taught by professional consultants and members of Disability Services.
The purpose of this training is to improve the learning environment for students with disabilities. This includes assistance with making curricula more accessible, improving student interaction and increasing the retention rates.
Faculty members from General College will be the first participants in this program, which will eventually expand to include faculty from the four University of Minnesota campuses, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and then — in the third year — to regional schools such as the University of Iowa.
To further promote the program, faculty members from every college throughout the University will pass on what they learned to their departments.
“This is an opportunity for faculty to learn more about their students,” Fox said.
After the training, faculty members will incorporate the information into their spring classes.
A Web site will be set up to further communicate the information.
Fox said the participants will also be encouraged and expected to write articles and give conferences on what they learned through this training program.

Nathan Whalen covers construction and facilities and welcomes comments at nwhale[email protected]. He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3237.