Drs. Schwarz and McCarthy-Maeder of the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology Receive $1,002,883 Grant for Literacy and Language Outcomes Project

The Department of Education has awarded Drs. Ilsa Schwarz (left) and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder (right) with a $1,002,883 grant that will allow them to train master’s-level students in the areas of language and literacy outcomes.
The Department of Education has awarded Drs. Ilsa Schwarz (left) and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder (right) with a $1,002,883 grant that will allow them to train master’s-level students in the areas of language and literacy outcomes.

Two researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Ilsa Schwarz, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA, professor emeritus, and Jillian McCarthy-Maeder, PhD, CCC-SLP, assistant professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, received a grant totaling $1,002,883 from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The funds will support the training of master’s-level students in an area of high national need – literacy and language outcomes.

The award will be used to support a project titled, “Preparing Speech-Language Pathologists to Improve Literacy and Language Outcomes for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing,” and will be distributed over a five-year period.

This award will finance the preparation of 32 graduate students with three semesters each of tuition remission and stipend support. Upon completion, the students will graduate with specialty training to improve the language and literacy outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The specialty preparation will include courses on the topics of language, literacy, aural habilitation and deaf education; and four semesters of practicum in settings with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

All of the trainees will also prepare a capstone research project about the language and literacy development of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Additionally, trainees will complete the disciplinary requirements for state licensure and the prerequisites for starting the clinical fellowship year required for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

“The funds from this grant will help to recruit some of the best students in the country to our program and make a significant difference in improving the outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.” said Dr. Schwarz.

Nine students will begin the program in January.

The mission of The Department of Education is to promote student accomplishments and ensure academic excellence and alignment with global competitors. Created in 1980, the organization’s 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget are dedicated to guaranteeing educational equality in all areas. For more information, visit www.ed.gov.