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View From The Hill: Camp COLLAB brings special education teachers and speech language pathologists together

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:12 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It’s a meeting of the minds for speech language pathologists and special education teachers with one common goal in mind—how to best communicate with students.

In this week’s View from the Hill, Amy Bingham takes us inside Camp COLLAB where the students aren’t the only ones learning.

Camp COLLAB truly is a collaboration.

If you combine the skill set brought by Speech Language Pathologists with the skill set brought by special education teachers, it’s a win/win for everyone.

“Everybody show me your happy face”

Kindergarten teacher Katey Carman is working on her Master of Arts in Education in Moderate Severe Disabilities.

“I just know that I can use what I learn here and take that back to my classroom.”

Carman is one of nine MAE and SLP (Speech Language Pathology) students at WKU participating in Camp COLLAB.

“Camp Collab is kind of a dual partnership between teachers and speech language pathologists where we work on both academic and communication goals.”

The camp is part of a five year federally funded grant to address a shortage of teachers certified to serve students with high intensity needs.

“They come together, they take course work together, they do research projects together and then they do this, intensive summer camp together.”

“This is the inaugural camp for the next five years so this cohort is really laying the foundation for our next four cohorts.”

Meeting twice a week from the end of June through July 22nd, the sessions provide hands on learning followed by time to discuss what works and what doesn’t.

“This is kind of teaching us about their role and then our role and hopefully we kind of get a taste of it and can kind of combine the two.”

A powerful collaboration that benefits students with complex communication needs.

“We can work together to help those particular children adapt in a regular education classroom.”

The one million dollar federal grant is called Project PREP which stands for Preparing Rural Educators and Professionals for Students with High-Intensity Needs.

The grant is shared by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services.

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