“The grant will be used to train professionals and staff who work with the deaf and hard of hearing students at various post-secondary programs,” said Catherine McLeod, who is overseeing the project and grant at CSUN.
The grant, which will be given over the course of five years, came from the Office of Special Education at the U.S. Department of Education, McLeod said.
Students involved in the program require further encouragement to continue their studies, even with their handicap, McLeod said.
“There is a need to improve retention, persistence and rate to graduation,” she said. “Not enough deaf and hard of hearing students attend post-secondary programs and be gainfully employed.”
On top of having better-trained employees and getting more deaf students to attend college, the money will also be used to fund resources for NCOD.
“The money will go into content development, expand resources, enhance online trainings, vlogs and staff time,” McLeod said.
Deaf and hard of hearing students will benefit from the grants “once we train the professionals how to work with (these students) in terms of access and support services to succeed academically,” McLeod said.
The grant received by NCOD is one of a kind, but has to be shared by other colleges in the nation that have deaf studies programs, according to a press release by CSUN.
This isn’t the first time NCOD received grants from the Office of Special Education. McLeod said that the department has received grants from the U.S. Department of Education for the past 35 years.
“The amount varies,” McLeod said. “This is the largest one we ever received when the government decided to consolidate from four regional centers to one national center.”