Preparing Alternate Certificate Instructors for Rural Special Services (PAIRSS)

Grants and Contracts Details


The PAIRSS project is designed to meet Kentucky’s need for low incidence teachers by pairing experienced special educators with novice special educators who serve students with low incidence disabilities in districts with high need schools located in rural Eastern Kentucky, a region of high poverty. First, the project will provide K-12 licensure coursework in moderate and severe disabilities (MSD) for scholars enrolled in the graduate alternate certificate program via distance education technology at the University of Kentucky (UK) and also employed as teachers of students with low incidence disabilities. Second, the project will provide master’s degree coursework with a focus in MSD through UK’s new special education teacher leader program, which must be completed by all teachers holding MSD certification in Kentucky to retain their licensure. Scholars in these two programs will be paired throughout the project period, allowing the experienced scholars to provide support for the novice scholars through required mentoring activities. In addition to obtaining an endorsement in leadership, scholars in the master’s program also may complete elective coursework in assistive technology and autism spectrum disorders, making them an even greater resource to scholars in the alternate certificate program. It is anticipated that two cohorts of 16 (8 alternate certificate and 8 master’s degree) or a total of 32 scholars will complete the program during the 5-year project, with a minimum of 70% of project funding per year going toward student support. The objectives for the project will be (a) to recruit, prepare, and certify alternate certificate scholars in providing evidence-based practices for students with MSD and (b) to retain master’s level scholars who can serve as low incidence mentors to teachers in high-need schools in rural Eastern Kentucky.
Effective start/end date1/1/1312/31/18


  • Special Education Programs: $1,236,395.00


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