SU rehab gets $600,000 grant to develop program to assist troubled black students

SU's rehab receives $600,000 to develop program for black students to succeed in school, careers


BATON ROUGE, La. - Southern University's Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies has been awarded a $600,000 grant to study and develop services that help African-American transition-age youth with emotional, intellectual and behavioral disabilities to succeed in school and in careers.

The Field Initiated Project (Research) is funded through 2016 by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education. The Research is titled, "Work Opportunity through Resource and Capacity Building (WORC): Transition Age African American Youth with Emotional, Intellectual, and Behavioral Disabilities." Only one grant was awarded.

The Research is collaboration between DRDS and the Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS), a department of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The project director is Dr. Madan Kundu, professor and chair of DRDS. Dr. Alo Dutta, Associate Professor, is Principle Investigator, and Assistant Professor Dr. Ebonee Johnson is Co-Principle Investigator.

The objective of the research project is to construct and validate a service delivery model that enables African Americans transition-age youth (16 to 24 years old) with special needs to participate in school-based preparatory experiences, career preparation and work-based learning experiences, youth development and leadership activities, tutoring and mentoring, and community-based endeavors.

The team will deploy an experimental design to evaluate the effect of Project WORC on self-determination to work, stages of change work participation, job seeking self-efficacy outcome expectation, actual job seeking behaviors and summer employment outcomes, Dutta said.

Dr. Fong Chan and Dr. Audrey Trainor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will serve as methodologist and content expert, respectively.

"We are pleased to collaborate on this innovative research," said Mark Martin, director of   Louisiana Rehabilitative Services. "The outcomes will not only enable LRS to improve how we serve youth with disabilities in transition from school to the world of work in Louisiana, but they also will have implications for other states that utilize the findings." 



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