Questions and Answers
Related to Application for
Meeting Rural Georgia Special Education Needs Grant
Georgia College & State University received funding for preparing special education personnel through a grant with the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. The grant, Meeting Rural Georgia Special Education Needs (MRGSEN), is based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorization for personnel preparation funding to improve services and results for children with disabilities.
What is the MRGSEN grant?
The grant is designed to recruit persons to meet the shortage of special education teachers in the rural middle Georgia counties of Washington, Wilkinson, Johnson, Hancock, Jefferson, Baldwin, Laurens, and Putnam. Through grant funding GCSU will offer a three-year, field-based cohort master’s degree program for initial certification in special education. To meet highly qualified requirements specified by No Child Left Behind and IDEA, teachers will also receive program training in two content areas.
Who is eligible to receive MRGSEN support?
To be eligible, persons must meet the following requirements:
1) Have an undergraduate degree in an area other then education.
2) Have a contract to be employed for the 2006-2007 school year as a special education teacher in either Washington, Wilkinson, Johnson, Hancock, Jefferson, Baldwin, Laurens, or Putnam county.
3) Meet admissions requirements for Georgia College & State University and the John H. Lounsbury School of Education.
What if you are not employed in the counties covered by the grant?
Georgia College & State University also offers a special education initial certification M.Ed. program that is based in Macon. This program is not funded by the grant and currently does not include content area training. This program is a 2 year field-based program that also trains students as they are employed in special education classrooms on provisional certification. Cohorts in this program begin each spring semester in January and are limited to enrollments of 20 students. If you are interested in more information on this program go to http://www.gcsu.edu/acad_affairs/school_ed/special_ed/ . You may also contact Dr. Craig Smith, Chair of the Department of Special Education and Educational Leadership, at email@example.com or at 478-445-4577.
Who will be accepted to the MRGSEN program?
The grant will provide funding for 18 students for a three-year training program. Since the demand for the program is expected to outweigh available positions in the program, admission will be on a competitive space-available basis. Applicants to the MRGSEN M.Ed. program will be evaluated across all entrance requirements with emphasis on commitment to and congruence with the objectives of the program.
What does the MRGSEN program involve?
The program is a three year program set up on a cohort model. That is, all students will progress through a set sequence of courses across each semester. Courses will focus on special education training and content training (e.g., math, science, social studies, language arts). A unique aspect of this program is that since all students will be employed as teachers, course assignments will be field based so that students are developing job competencies while they are meeting course requirements. Student success will be promoted through the training of evidence-based teaching practices, supervision focused on feedback and reflection, and through mentoring support. Also, web based instruction and off campus meeting sites will also be utilized to reduce student travel.
When does the MRGSEN program begin?
The program and coursework begins fall semester 2006.
What costs will the grant cover?
For the applicants accepted into the program, the grant is written to cover such costs as tuition, books, membership in a professional special education organization (i.e., Council for Exceptional Children), and participation in national conferences.
Are there expectations of students who receive funding?
Yes. Students who accept MRGSEN funding must sign a service obligation agreement and other documents regarding commitment to the program. If you receive funding for the program, you will be expected to complete “payback” service to the field as part of the service obligation. That is, upon exit of the program for each year you receive funding, you must maintain 2 years of employment in special education in rural middle Georgia schools.
How do you apply for support under the MRGSEN grant?
First you must apply to and be accepted to Georgia College & State University for the M.Ed. Initial Certification Program in Interrelated Special Education. Applicants to this degree program will be evaluated for eligibility under the MRGSEN grant. Along with your application, you must include a letter expressing your interest in the grant program.
What documentation and materials are required for consideration for admission into the MRGSEN program?
To be considered for admission into the MRGSEN program, you must provide the following materials in your application
1) Completed application for graduate admissions and all supporting paper to the GCSU Office of Admissions.
2) Qualifying GRE or MAT scores (see below)
3) Passing Praxis I (PPST) scores or documentation of exemption
4) Official copies of all undergraduate transcripts (with overall GPA minimum of 2.25; see below)
5) Copy of current contract for employment as a special education teacher for the 2006-2007 school year in Washington, Wilkinson, Johnson, Hancock, Jefferson, Baldwin, Laurens, or Putnam county
6) Letter of interest in the MRGSEN grant
Two professional recommendations
8) Verification of Immunization.
What scores do you need for admission into the graduate master programs in the GCSU John H. Lounsbury School of Education and consideration for the MRGSEN grant program? (Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.)
To be considered for regular admission to the program, the applicant must submit scores on the Graduate Record Exam. To be granted regular admission status, the applicant must score 1100 on the School of Education admission formula. The formula is
GRE verbal score*
+ GRE quantitative*
+ (100 times the undergraduate grade point average--2.25 minimum)**
1100 or higher
For example, an applicant scoring 400 on the verbal portion and 400 on the quantitative or analytical portion and having a 3.0 GPA would have an admission formula score of 400 + 400 + 300 = 1100.
Submit a score on the Miller Analogies Test. To be granted regular admission status, the applicant must score 70 on the SOE admission formula. The formula is
+ (10 times the undergraduate grade point average--2.25 minimum)**
70 or higher
For example, an applicant having an MAT score of 40 and a 3.0 GPA would have an admission formula score of 40 + 30 = 70.
To be considered for provisional admission to the degree program, the candidate must submit scores on the Graduate Record Exam General Test. To be granted provisional admission status, the applicant must score 950 on the SOE graduate formula.
GRE verbal score*
+ (100 times the undergraduate GPA--2.25 minimum)**
950 or higher
Submit a score on the Miller Analogies Test. To be granted provisional admission the applicant must score 60 on the SOE admission formula. The formula is
+ (10 times the undergraduate GPA--2.25 minimum)**
60 or higher
*Test scores must be less than 10 years old at the time of admission.
**Grade point average includes ALL transcripts from ALL schools, not just the most recent.
For more information on admissions and entrance requirements go to http://info.gcsu.edu/intranet/school_ed/Programs/gradprog.htm
What does provisional admission involve?
If your scores qualify you for provisional admission only, you will be allowed to take a semester of courses under this status. At the end of the first semester, your performance will be evaluated by your advisor. To progress from provisional to regular admission status, a B or better must be earned in each course taken during the first semester. Students not meeting these conditions will not be permitted further enrollment in the program.
Where can you obtain additional information about the MRGSEN grant?
Additional questions about the grant may be directed to the Project Director Amy Childre at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 478-445-0506. School or county administrators may contact Amy Childre to request scheduling informational meetings with individual systems.
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