Here are answers to some questions you might have about Project Prepare: 

1. What are the requirements to participate in Project Prepare? 
2. How will you choose participants?  How many participants will you choose? 
3. This sounds like a great deal – anything else I should be aware of? 
4. I have completed some graduate work. Can I still apply?
5. Will Project Prepare pay all my tuition costs? 
6. What is a “stipend”? 
7. What costs am I responsible for? 
8. Will completing this program of study result in a degree? 
9. Do I have to complete a thesis or exam for the PSNE Endorsement and the GCTEC certificate?  Will I be completing both?
10. What is the PSNE and GCTEC program of study? 
11. How many classes will I take each semester? 
12. Tell me about the internship and practicum courses.
13. I have never taken an on-line class – what is it like? 
14. What kinds of technology requirements are needed for the on-line classes?
Q 1:  What are the requirements to participate in Project Prepare?

A:  In order to be accepted into Project Prepare, applicants must: 

a)  Have earned a 2.7 undergraduate GPA AND
b)  Currently licensed to teach either early childhood education (PreK through Grade 3) OR K-12 Special Education.
c)  Interested in making a difference in the lives of young children (from ages 3-5) who have intensive needs through inter-professional teaming.
d) Interested in earning Ohio's Preschool Special Needs Endorsement AND a graduate certificate in inter-professional teaming.  
e) Interested in furthering your career in Early Childhood Special Education.  

*** In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements as per Rule 3301-51-11 of Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities (2008).

Q 2:    How will you choose participants?  How many participants will you choose?

A:    Project Prepare staff will review applications, which will be screened on such factors as professional experience, licensure or certification status, interest in maintaining a career in ECSE, quality of academic record and confidence/comfort levels in completing online distance education courses. We will also review applicants’ academic records to make sure that they meet academic standards for admission to UT’s Graduate School.  Priority admission will be offered to professionals working in high-need urban areas, and to qualified minority applicants. 

The goal of Project Prepare is to enroll 6 Education participants for Cycle D, plus 4 applicants in related services (OT, PT, SLP or School Psychology) which begins classes on January 17, 2023 (Spring semester). 

Q 3:     This sounds like a great deal – anything else I should be aware of?

A:    Yes!  It is a good opportunity for motivated professionals!

There are three important USDOE requirements you must be aware of:

    1. Service Obligation provision:  Individuals that receive scholarship assistance from projects funded under IDEA are required to complete a Service Obligation. Participants must agree to work after graduation for a specified amount of time in the field of study for which they were supported (i.e., special education).  If students drop out of the program or choose other employment, they will be required to pay back the funds they have received. Please see the Service Obligation page on our website for details.  If you are accepted into Project LEA, you will sign a Pre-Scholarship agreement verifying your knowledge of, and agreement to, the terms and conditions of this requirement. Prior to your final acceptance, Project Prepare staff will meet with you via conference call to ensure that you fully understand the Service Obligation requirements.  
    2. Before UT is allowed to award scholarship funds, we must ensure that you are a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States (e.g., we would need to see a Driver’s License or some other acceptable form of identification)
    3. You must also sign a Certification of Eligibility for Federal Assistance, indicating that you are not, currently, in debt or in default to the federal government.

Q 4:     I have already completed some graduate level coursework.  Can I still apply?

A:    Yes!  The coursework provided through funding from Project Prepare is towards the PSNE endorsement and the inter-professional teaming certificate (GCTEC). 

Q 5:     Will Project LEA pay all my tuition costs?

A:    Yes! Project Prepare will cover the full cost of tuition* for the PSNE Endorsement and the GCTEC graduate certificate (29 semester hours). Current (20/21) graduate tuition at UT is $559.80 per semester hour.   Thus, the USDOE will pay $1,679.40 for 3 semester hours; $3,358.80 for 6 semester hours, etc.                     

*Note: Project Prepare can cover only in-state tuition costs.

Q 6:      What is a “stipend”?

A:      A stipend provides payment to cover student costs other than tuition (e.g., general fees, internet access, etc.). You will receive the stipend after successful completion of each class. You will receive a stipend of $140 for EACH semester hour completed successfully ($420 for each 3 semester hours; $840 for 6 semester hours; $1,260 for 9 semester hours)

Q 7:      What costs am I responsible for?

A:      Students are responsible for all costs except tuition. As with all universities, there are a variety of ancillary fees (e.g., application fees, general fees, technology fee, service fee). Current (21/22) UT fees are approximately $510 for 6 semester hours. Students are also responsible for all textbook costs. There are also one-time fees (approx. $200) related to your admission to UT’s graduate program. NOTE: Students are responsible for payment of these ancillary and one-time admission fees prior to the beginning of Spring semester classes on January 17, 2023. However, as noted previously, in subsequent semesters your stipend will help cover the fees costs. 

Q 8:      Will completing this program of study result in a degree?

A:      NO, this program provides students the opportunity to receive the PSNE endorsement and the GCTEC graduate certificate. Note:  You may apply the credits earned during participation in this program towards completion of a master's degree or an education specialist degree offered at The University of Toledo.  

Q 9:      Do I have to complete a thesis or exam for the PSNE Endorsement and GCTEC certificate?

A:      Good news………NO! The requirement is that students complete the 29 semester hours beyond their undergraduate degree.  For the purposes of Project Prepare, you will need to earn a grade of ‘B’  or higher in each class. 

Q 10:      What is the PSNE Endorsement and GCTEC certificate program of study?  Will I be completing both?

A:      ECSE Students enrolled in Project Prepare will complete coursework related to (a) instruction and intervention for young children with intensive needs, (b) appropriate assessment strategies for young children with intensive needs, (c) designing, implementing, and evaluating the learning environment for young children with intensive needs, (d) helping young children with intensive disabilities participate and engage in learning activities using assistive technology and/or alternative communication strategies as appropriate, (e) working collaboratively with other professionals, and (f) working in partnership with families to meet the needs of young children with intensive disabilities.  In addition to this coursework, scholars enrolled in Project Prepare will also have the opportunity to earn the University of Toledo's Graduate Certificate in Teaming in Early Childhood (GCTEC).  This 8-credit hour certificate program prepares early childhood educators, early childhood/special educators and related services providers to work collaboratively with each other in order to help young children with disabilities meet their goals.  Through this program, scholars will have the opportunity to learn about effective teaming and collaboration strategies including problem-solving, conflict resolution, consultation/coaching and cultural competence.  Scholar's culminating project consists of a practicum/internship focusing on inter-professional teaming as well as a portfolio demonstrating how scholars have met the competencies associated with the certificate program. 

Q 11:      How many classes will I take each semester?

A:      For Cycle D, students will begin in Spring 2023 by taking 2 courses (6 semester hours).  In the Summer of 2023, students will enroll in 3 courses (7 semester hours).  For the Fall 2023 semester, students will enroll in 3 courses (7 semester hours) and in Spring 2024, students will register for 3 courses (6 semester hours).  The Cycle D students will complete the 29 credits in the Summer 2024 term with the final 3 credit hours.  Please see Cycle D Sequence of Classes.  Please NOTE that ALL classes and academic program requirements of Project Prepare will be completed via online distance learning. No classes will be conducted on campus.

Q 12:      Tell me about the internship and practicum classes.

A:      As part of the PSNE program of study, Project Prepare students will complete a 3-credit hour internship (120 clock hours).  The internship will be completed in a preschool classroom serving young children with intensive needs.  If you are currently working in a preschool classroom serving young children with special needs, you can use that time to complete the internship.  You will not need to complete the internship hours outside of your regular position.  If you are currently not teaching in a preschool setting, you are still eligible for Project Prepare.  To complete the internship requirement, you would need to find a preschool setting to complete the internship hours during the last summer term of the program.  

In addition to the internship course, there is a practicum for the GCTEC certificate which is part of the total 29 credit hours for Project Prepare.  The GCTEC Practicum is a 2-credit hour course (60 clock hours) that focuses on Inter-professional Teaming.  Students conduct a case study focusing on one or more children with special needs in an inclusive setting.  The case study will include assessment, development, implementation, and assessment of intervention plans; technical training of site staff and families; and reflection.  Students will create a dissemination of their practicum results.  The practicum, unlike the internship does not necessarily need to take place in a preschool setting.

Q 13:      I have never taken an on-line class – what is it like?

A:      Online classes are conducted in a number of ways. In Project Prepare, the instructors might use tools like discussion boards, video conferencing, email/instant messaging, Skype, wikis, and blogs to create a meaningful learning experience. If you are unfamiliar with some of these tools, don’t worry—the University of Toledo provides extensive (and user-friendly) technical support to all of its students. With Project Prepare, you will be involved in virtual learning communities with other individuals that will provide the professional support essential to successfully completing the program.

Q 14:      What kinds of technology requirements are needed for the on-line classes?

A:      High speed Internet access is required. On-line classes will be conducted via Blackboard 9 (Bb9) course management system. Recommended browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Safari. Specific details for Mac and PC users will be provided. UT has available a number of browsers and programs that students can download for free (e.g., Adobe Reader, Apple i-Tunes player, Google Docs). Tech support is also provided. Stipend payments may offset some of the costs of internet upgrades.


One final note: Some school districts award pay increases based on completion of advanced degrees  or additional hours of graduate credit. Be sure to check with your school district………..

Last Updated: 6/27/22