Guam – Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo has announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the University of Guam Center for Excellence in Development Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (CEDDERS) $1.2 million in discretionary funding. UOG CEDDERS was awarded this highly competitive grant in order to recruit and train Master’s degree level students who will, upon graduation, serve as teachers of the Visually Impaired and as Orientation and Mobility Specialists for children and youth who are blind or who have visual impairments. UOG CEDDERS will partner with the University of Massachusetts, Boston who will offer the degree program through the Northeast Regional Center for Vision Education (NERCVE) utilizing online as well as on-site instruction. Students will be recruited from Guam, CNMI, American Samoa, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
“The funding received today from the U.S. Department of Education will help to expand the qualified pool of teachers available for students who are blind or visually impaired,” Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo said today. “I commend Dr. Robert Underwood, Dr. Heidi San Nicolas, and the UOG CEDDERS team for their work in securing this grant, and I look forward to this program benefitting our community in the future.”
Dr. Heidi San Nicolas, Director of UOG CEDDERS, said, “This grant provides an opportunity for individuals across the region to earn a Master’s degree with specialization in Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility. Once certified, these educators will be qualified to teach students who are blind and those who have visual impairments. We look forward to hearing from individuals who are interested in applying for this program which includes full scholarship support for up to 20 students. Funded students will be required to teach students with visual impairments upon graduation as a “pay back” for support received from this USDOE personnel preparation scholarship program.”