University of South Florida

College of Education

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Research team awarded $1.9 million grant to prepare next generation of school psychology scholars

A school psychologist speaking with a teenager.

A University of South Florida (USF) research team was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund a multi-year project that will prepare the next generation of educators and scholars within the school psychology profession.

The initiative, Project STARS, which stands for “Scholars in Teaching, Applied Research, and Service,” will prepare school psychology students to become faculty members in higher education settings. Additionally, the program will provide participants with teaching, applied research and service expertise to help them effectively lead school, district and state-level implementations of evidence-based practices within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

Evan Dart, PhD, an associate professor in the USF College of Education and principal investigator on the project, says the Project STARS will prepare today’s school psychology students for careers in academia and further strengthen the pipeline of school psychologists entering the field.

“The students participating in Project STARS will learn from and collaborate with an amazing team and engage in a range of cross-program professional development activities that would not be possible without the support of this project and our partners,” Dart said. “I look forward to seeing how our students use the knowledge, skills and experiences they gain to become leaders in our field and make positive impacts on the lives of students in schools.”

Hosted at USF, Project STARS will be conducted in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education, the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, USF’s Institute for School Reform, and with school district personnel in Pasco County Schools and the Madison Metropolitan School District.

The funding for Project STARS is provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Leadership Personnel Preparation Grant. The four-year project will begin in October.

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About the USF College of Education:

As the home for more than 2,200 students and 130 faculty members across three campuses, the University of South Florida College of Education offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders. Our college is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our educator preparation programs are fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.