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November 3, 2014

Sharon Vaughn, executive director of the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, has received part of a $7.5 million grant that will be used to prepare special education experts to develop intensive interventions for students with persistent, severe academic and behavioral difficulties.

The five-year grant is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), a division of the U.S. Department of Education. Funds will be distributed to seven partner institutions that are part of the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLII), a new consortium that includes Vanderbilt University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Minnesota. The funding will support 28 doctoral students nationally.

“As a University of Texas graduate, I am very excited that the talented faculty of UT’s Department of Special Education will be engaged with NCLII,” said Christopher Lemons, assistant professor of special education at Vanderbilt University and co-director of the program. “We are delighted that Sharon Vaughn is serving as the lead representative from UT. Sharon is one of the most respected researchers in our field. Her work has dramatically impacted classroom practice and she is one of the top experts on how to develop and evaluate intensive interventions targeting our neediest students.”

The project is currently recruiting applicants to begin doctoral work in fall 2015. Scholars who are accepted will contribute to the Intensive Intervention Network, a website designed to advance research on and implementation of intensive interventions. The project will provide opportunities for scholars to participate in cross-institutional research activities. In addition, the consortium will allow doctoral students to intern with national centers supported by OSEP, including the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform; the National Center on Intensive Intervention; and the IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University.