With a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, UCF Associate Professor Mary Little will lead an effort to meet three goals: improve the recruitment of teachers to serve special needs children, design an effective program for math and science instruction for middle school students with special needs and establish a mentoring program to help retain new special education teachers.

Little received one of the 20 grants awarded this year. It could become a model that is replicated throughout the nation.

“We know this is an area that demands attention, and we have the expertise at UCF to help local schools reach some of our most vulnerable students so they, too, have an opportunity to achieve in math and science,” Little said.