(December 3, 2009) The Department of Special Education has been named a member of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities. This designation will offer a unique opportunity to doctorate students specializing in educating students who have a sensory impairment.

The consortium will provide the opportunity for 30 qualified candidates to pursue a unique doctoral study experience working with the education of infants, toddlers, children, or youth who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. These positions offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue individual doctoral studies and be part of a larger collaborative community of learners.

Illinois State became recognized as a member of this nationwide consortium because the Special Education Department “has the infrastructure to support a fulltime doctoral student in the sensory disability areas,” said Stacy Kelly, assistant professor of Special Education.

“Being a Consortium University member of the National Leadership Consortium for Sensory Disabilities has resulted in more national recognition and visibility for the Department of Special Education and Illinois State University,” said Kelly.

Illinois State students vying for one of the 25 positions offered by the Consortium must be first accepted into the Special Education doctoral program, and then be selected by the NLCSD Consortium through an application process. Application information will be available in the coming weeks at the NLSCD Web site.

Though the selection process is competitive, upon acceptance into the consortium, full-time students will receive significant financial aid support for four years of full time study. The first national cohort of students will be selected to begin studies in the fall of 2010.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education, the National Leadership Consortium includes 23 universities other than Illinois State.