PREPaRE: Preparing Related Services Personnel for Rural Employment

Grants and Contracts Details


Purpose: Preparing RElated Services Personnel for Rural Employment (PREPaRE) will help alleviate the regional shortage of appropriately, highly qualified personnel in occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) who can work collaboratively in early intervention and schools in high-poverty, rural areas, especially Appalachia. The Department of Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University and The Divisions of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Physical Therapy in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kentucky are unique in that they have a history of interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, inter-institutional programs which have used distance technology to educate therapists in rural areas. A research-based, graduate entry-level curriculum consisting of specially designed enhanced, interdisciplinary course work, and fieldwork/clinical experiences will be provided for OT, PT, and SLP scholars to serve infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities in early intervention and schools in rural areas. All team members must be educated to provide coordinated, research based services otherwise there will continue to be a disparity between the most appropriate services and the services actually provided. Scholars will be evaluated on achievement of a core set of competencies that will ensure that as graduates they become competent, autonomous, and integrated service providers in early intervention and schools. Mentorship, support, and continued learning opportunities will be provided for graduates as they assume positions in early intervention and schools in rural areas where there is minimal supervision. Proposed Products: The 70 supported graduates (14/year, 4 in OT & PT and 6 in CD) of the program will pass their respective licensure examinations. OTs and SLPs will receive a Master of Science degree and the PTs a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Over 400 additional entry level graduate students will have available to them the enhanced program of study to prepare them to work in early intervention or schools as will future generations of program students. Over 73% of funding is for student support.
Effective start/end date8/15/138/14/17


  • Eastern Kentucky University: $98,437.00


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