Special education teaching programs – creating “miracle workers” every day

Over the holidays I had a chance to watch the movie “The Miracle Worker.” I remember watching it many years ago, but this time it took on new meaning for me. As I watched the volatile scenes between teacher Annie Sullivan (Ann Bancroft) and her student Helen Keller (Patty Duke), it struck me that it would be unthinkable for any teacher to use those methods on a student today. How lucky for students and teachers that our educational system now provides exceptional training and tools for individuals who wish to work with students with special needs.

Kudos to the colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada that have developed excellent programs for those who want to teach students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. During the 13 years that I have worked with the UCT Scholarship Program – which provides grants for such individuals – I have observed colleges and universities create and develop special education teaching programs where there were none before, making true “miracle workers” possible.

Emily Wilson is a recipient of the UCT Scholarship Program who now teaches students with disabilities at MCPHS University. “It has been an exciting past year, including my work to empower college students living with disabilities,” she recently told me. It is exciting that not only have universities developed curriculums to teach students with special needs, but that these students are now part of the student population. 

It’s nice to know that UCT has played an important part in this growth through our UCT Scholarship Program – and now we can have an even bigger impact with our new Heaston Scholarships. In 2013 we awarded over $79,000 in scholarships through the UCT Scholarship Program, and the Heaston Scholarships will provide $12,000 annually for three four-year scholarships. If you, or someone you know, can use scholarship assistance, take a look at what we have to offer.    

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