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DH-00-TW-216

Contact: Tim Woodhull

June 16, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

California State University, Dominguez Hills, receives five-year grant to recruit retirees, the unemployed and people making career change to work with disabled, at-risk children

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), has received a five-year federal grant to recruit retirees and people considering a career change for work with children who are disabled or at-risk. The funds from the U.S. Department of Education, totaling $1,224,642, are allocated to the School of Education in collaboration with Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.

The purpose of their project is two-fold: Identify highly motivated people who are seeking a rewarding professional experience, and offset the critical worker shortages in special education.

Doris M. Okada, director, CSUDH Infant Toddler-Center, said that the program is designed for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and with disabilities, to work in such critical areas as speech and language pathology, nursing, and social work. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

"We think we are ideally situated to tap a deep pool of wonderful talent to work in this vitally important area," Okada said. "Imagine being able to recruit people of amazingly diverse backgrounds, perhaps aerospace, or the military, or education, or sports, and other people who can make such a difference and connect them with children who need a helping hand. I think it's a special opportunity for the adults as well as the children."

Besides gearing to implement a high-quality interdisciplinary program, the project aims also to retain all trainees throughout the program in their first year of employment.

During each of the first two years of the project, 35 candidates will be admitted to the program, which includes individualized, hands-on practical experience in the field. Sites will include the CSUDH Infant-Toddler Center, Children's Hospital, and public and private programs in the community.

After completing the program, candidates will be eligible for an Early Childhood Special Education state credential, and for a master's degree in Special Education.

Classes begin August 26, and applications must be filed no later than July 15.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting Doris M. Okada, director, CSUDH Infant Toddler-Center, (310) 243-3927.

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