The communications disorders program in the School of Education at North Carolina Central University in Durham has announced that it will offer a new specialty track that combines speech-language pathology and special education. The program will train speech-language pathology students to teach young children with developmental disabilities.
The new program is made possible by a $932,293 grant from the Office of Special Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The new program was developed by Yolanda Keller-Bell, an assistant professor in the communication disorder program, and Maureen Short, an assistant professor of special education. The program will begin in the fall of 2015.
“The idea is to give speech-language pathology students insight into the educational demands of children with special needs by expanding their training to include working directly with children in the classroom,” explains Dr. Keller-Bell. “Children with communication disorders are at great risk for having poor academic performance. Improving their speech and language outcomes will have a positive effect on their educational performance.”
Dr. Keller-Bell is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.