UTA master’s students studying social work or special education now have the opportunity to train for both, thanks to a new project to improve services for special-needs children from early childhood through high school graduation.
Combining social work with special education training is important, says Ambra Green (pictured above), principal investigator and assistant professor of special education, because special education teachers and social workers frequently offer overlapping student services but may not know how to complement one another.
“This is a big deal for the state of Texas because it impacts students with disabilities in the midst of statewide efforts to improve their services,” Dr. Green says. “Our work is both for them and their families.”
The project will create an interdisciplinary master’s-level personnel preparation cohort. It is supported through a five-year, $1.08 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Collaborating with Green on the project are co-investigators Jandel Crutchfield, assistant professor of social work, and John Romig, assistant professor of education.
“We want UTA to be a leader in these fields,” Green says. “This grant will not only prepare professionals, but also change the trajectory of students with disabilities.”