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PEPSE is for parents...

The college is embarking on a collaborative $99,983 ASPIRE II Integration research project called Promoting Engaged Parents in Special Education (Project PEPSE) that is funded by the USC Office of Research funding. ASPIRE-II (Advanced Support Program for Integration of Research Excellence-II) funding is provided by the Vice President's Office for Research to support research involving at least two or more Colleges/Schools. It promotes interdisciplinary collaborations between at least 3 or more faculty members to develop preliminary data to apply for targeted Program Projects, Centers of Excellence Grants or similar mechanisms of extramural funding.

The goal of this internal grant is to seed new or support existing collaborative interdisciplinary research that is nationally and internationally competitive and has a strong potential to be supported and sustained by external funding agencies.

The collaboration is between the EDST faculty - Professor Mitchell Yell, Assistant Professor Ryan P. Carlson, and Associate Professor Christine Christle from the College of Education, Drs. Mark D. Weist and Scott Decker from the Department of Psychology, and Dr. Robert Hock from the College of Social Work.

In 2009, Dr. Mitchell L. Yell received a grant through the SC Department of Education, working with Dr. Vivian Correa of Clemson University, and Timothy Conroy of the SC Autism Society to investigate the barriers to meaningful parent school partnerships in the special education process. In this project, titled Project MEANS (Meaningful Engagement Around the Needs of a Student), the investigators concluded that there was a critical need to assist school’s efforts to partner with families to enhance the overall quality of student’s individualized education programs (IEPs) and increase the participation of families from culturally diverse background in these collaborative efforts.

Project PEPSE (Promoting Engaged Parents in Special Education) will extend the findings of Project MEANS and will develop strategies and procedures to improve parent school partnerships in the IEP process and develop the collaborative skills of parents and school-based personnel. Based on the research conducted in Project PEPSE, Drs. Yell, Carlson, and Christle plan to apply for a multi-year grant through the U.S. Department of Education.

Concurrently, Drs. Carlson and Yell will be concluding their $199,844.00 personnel preparation project – Preparing School Counselors as Related Service Providers for Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders – in August 2014. This project was funded from the U.S. Department of Education/ Office of Special Education & Rehabilitation Services/ Office of Special Education Programs.

Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-7000 •