Project THRIVE (Training Special Education Leaders in Mental Health and Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Practices) will provide a cohort of five scholars with a comprehensive training curriculum encompassing (a) culturally and linguistically responsive instruction and (b) intensive preparation in evidence-based school mental health services (i.e., social, emotional, behavioral supports) for students with disabilities, including those with mental health needs. Scholars will earn a PhD in Special Education.

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education

Years: 10/1/2023 - 9/30/2028

Funded Amount: $1,179,135

Student Supports:

  • $36,750 yearly stipend
  • One-time $15,000 in startup funds
  • $2,500 yearly travel funds.
  • Graduate assistantships would not be required, but may be available for those interested.
  • Advanced coursework
  • Internships in high-need schools
  • Individualized mentoring
  • Collaborative research
  • Well-being supports

Project THRIVE is
accepting applications NOW!

More Program Information

  • Allison Bruhn (Director)
  • Lia Plakans (Co-Director)
  • Seth King (Co-Director)
  • Derek Rodgers (Co-Director)
  • Shawn Datchuk (Key Personnel)
  • Leah Zimmermann (Key Personnel)
  • Pam Ries (Key Personnel)


Faculty working with grade school students in classroom.

Education faculty receive grant to address shortages of special education leaders

Thursday, October 5, 2023
A team of College of Education faculty are utilizing a new training grant to improve access to special educators in Iowa and across the country.