Belinda KargeCaption: Belinda Karge and a classroom of her education students. Photo by Patrick O’DonnellDownload Photo

University STEM Initiative

Transition to Teaching

Federal Grant Supports Project AIMS

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has awarded a federal grant of $421,333 in first-year funding for a “Transition to Teaching Program” grant to Belinda Dunnick Karge, professor of special education. A total of $2 million is expected over the next five years for Project AIMS: Autism, Inclusion, Mathematics Core and Science Innovation scholar program.

The program’s focus is to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers for the areas of math, science and special education, Karge said.

The grant will provide extra resources for collaboration between general education and special education teachers in the areas of autism, inclusive practices, core standards for math and innovative techniques for teaching science.

“The purpose of the AIMS scholar program is to recruit, train and retain math, science and special education teachers with quality expertise in working with children with autism, supporting children with special needs in inclusive settings, ensuring the new math core standards are met, and inspiring teachers to use science innovation,” Karge said.

The university will partner with neighboring school districts to attain the project's goals and provide quality instruction to students in Southern California, Karge added.

Students will be able to apply for the program in January.

“In order to qualify for the program, candidates must first apply and be accepted to the Department of Secondary Education math and/or science option or the Department of Special Education Mild/Moderate, Moderate/Severe and/or Early Childhood Special Education programs,” Karge said.

“Talented teachers come from all walks of lige, and life experieinces can enhance their abilities in the classroom and rapport with students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “This grant will encourage mor interested professionals to transition to teaching and increase our cadre of teachers for schoool that need them the most.”

For more information on Project AIMS, contact Karge at 657-278-3760 or, Sandra Alaux at 657-278-5186 or, Tara Barnhart at 657-278-3113 or or Cheryl Creager at or visit

Top of Story