Fontbonne Awarded $1.25 Million Grant for Deaf Education Program

Top Quote The Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has awarded Fontbonne University a $1.25 million grant. End Quote
  • St. Louis, MO-IL (1888PressRelease) May 04, 2016 - Fontbonne University has received a $1.25 million grant to fund student tuition for a unique deaf education graduate program.

    The Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announced recently that the five-year grant was awarded to support Fontbonne's Master of Arts in Deaf Education collaborative program serving students in the northeast United States.

    "We're thrilled that students with a desire to serve children who are deaf or hard of hearing will have the chance to get some of the best training and education in the country," said Gale Rice, dean of Fontbonne's college of education and allied health professions. "The grant makes it possible to award scholarships that cover nearly 90 percent of a student's tuition."

    The program is offered in partnership with the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, which has schools in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Northampton, Mass. Students who live in or near these cities can benefit from a Fontbonne education through synchronous distance learning such as video conferences, interactive webinars and broadcast lectures - all in real-time as they are delivered to local Fontbonne students.

    "Our local St. Louis students in speech-language pathology and early intervention in deaf education take classes with the students in the northeast cohort," said Susan Lenihan, Fontbonne professor and project director for this program. "This gives them a national perspective and allows them to see the effects of other models of service delivery."

    In addition to the Fontbonne curriculum that students study, the program includes an onsite practicum component consisting of more than 400 hours of field experience. The Clarke schools provide education and services for children who are deaf and hard of hearing, offering students an ideal training ground for the practicum portion of the degree program. Practicum hours can also be completed through the Capital Region Education Council's Soundbridge Program in Connecticut and the Bergen County Hearing Impaired Program in New Jersey.

    "The program is a unique model that prepares a new generation of professionals," Rice said. "It stresses an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating best practices from deaf education, early childhood education, speech-language pathology and special education."

    More than 30 candidates will be selected to participate in the degree program. The first scholarships will be awarded beginning in June. For more information, call 314-889-1407 or visit

    Fontbonne University is a Catholic coeducational institution of higher education offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts and professional studies, as well as evening and online programs for working adults. Fontbonne was founded in 1923 and is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

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