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Lourdes University Graduates 10 Students as a Direct Result of Workforce Development Grant

Current staff at local partner schools had the opportunity to become intervention specialists, tuition-free.

Workforce Development

Spring Commencement marked the completion of the Workforce Development grant received by Lourdes University’s Division of Education.

The grant made it possible for current substitute teachers, aides, and coaches across Springfield Local School District, Sylvania Schools, and Toledo Public Schools to develop into intervention specialists by pursuing their Master of Arts in Special Education at Lourdes University. Because of the grant funding, students were able to complete their degree for just the cost of books and fees and gain immediate employment.

Ten students graduated with their Master of Arts in Special Education with initial licensure: Katie Talbert, Thomas Burke, Amber Ferrell, Julie Vanasdale, Kara Nachtrab, Eleanor Kosek, Robert Stanton, Courtney Wilson, Kelli Keel, and Kristin Pohlman.

“The Workforce Development grant is the epitome of the Lourdes mission- a community of learning, reverence, and service,” remarks Dr. Vince Laverick, Chair of Lourdes University’s Division of Education. “In partnership with Sylvania, Springfield Local, and Toledo Public Schools, we were able to change the lives of these graduates. All were employed at a partner school as either a sub, aide, or coach and now can be employed as an intervention specialist at these same partner schools.”

Here are some words from three graduates of the program:

“The grant has been an amazing opportunity for me and my family,” explains Katie Talbert. “Without the grant, I would not have been able to afford to get a Master’s in Special Education on my own. I’m very thankful this grant exists and to be a beneficiary. I hope to go on to be a successful intervention specialist.”

Robert Stanton agrees. “The Workforce grant was truly a blessing. I was able to afford higher education and meet amazing people along the way. Through this grant I was able to see my dreams of becoming an educator become a reality. I am so thankful for this grant and hope others will take advantage. Lourdes is a great school and I feel very ready to join the workforce because of all they have taught me along the way.”

Amber Ferrell resonates with Katie and Robert’s sentiments. “I am so thankful to have received the Workforce Development grant from Lourdes University to obtain my Masters in Special education degree,” she says. “This has made a huge impact on me being able to go to school and be able to start my new career. I’m looking forward to teaching students in the fall and making an impact on students’ success!”

For graduates like Katie, Robert, and Amber, the grant opened doors to pursue their Master of Arts in Special Education, enabling them to embark on fulfilling careers while positively impacting the lives of students. As they step into their new roles, they carry with them gratitude for the opportunities afforded by the grant and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of those they serve.

For more information, please contact Dr. Vince Laverick, Chair of Lourdes University’s Division of Education, at or 419-824-3840.

Workforce Development
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