California State University, Northridge’s acclaimed National Center on Deafness (NCOD) has received a $5 million grant from the US Department of Education to help improve the academic achievement of high school and college students who are deaf and hard of hearing in the Western United States.

The renewed 5-year grant from the federal Postsecondary Education Programs for Individuals who are Deaf supports technical assistance and outreach efforts the center makes throughout the region to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students have the resources they need in high school and college.

“The purpose of the grant is to provide quality and networked services to enable students to succeed in schools and colleges,” says NCOD director Roz Rosen. “This will raise the educational sea level for all.”
The NCOD program, known as PEPNet-West, reaches out to more than 859 schools in 16 states and six US affiliated Pacific Islands. It includes technical assistance and consultation and uses consortia and cooperative agreements to optimize resources and build local capacity to serve deaf and hard of hearing students. It also provides in-service training and consumer involvement in the determination of staff development activities and the use of technology to deliver services and manage the project.

Among its goals are to identify relevant programs and services that address the technological, personnel development and other needs of the students; increase the skills and knowledge of those working with deaf and hard of hearing students at high schools and colleges; increase the level of co-operation between those who support deaf and hard of hearing students; increase the availability and dissemination of institutional and student resources; and to improve communication among the stakeholders through strategic use of technology.

[SOURCE: CSUN, October 2006]