9 Dec 2015

Introducing the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Institute – NWIC, in partnership with WWU, receives a 5-year $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration

Northwest Indian College (NWIC), in partnership with Western Washington University (WWU), has been awarded a 5-year, $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, through the Capacity Building Program for Traditionally Underserved Populations. The project will establish and wholly fund a Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Institute for the preparation of personnel in American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) projects. The partnership demonstrates a collaboration of knowledge, experience, skills, faculty, curricula, resources, and technology between Northwest Indian College and Western Washington University.

The Institute will create a system to help current and future AIVRS personnel gain the fundamental basic aspects of vocational rehabilitation skills and practice necessary to improve and expand services to American Indians with disabilities in tribal communities. The training topics will be culturally-relevant with a focus on the foundations of vocational rehabilitation, caseload management and counseling skills.

The Institute will train 200 personnel in the 85+ AIVRS projects across the US. The series of training courses will be offered in a traditional classroom setting, through distance learning modalities, and using other delivery methods as appropriate to meet the needs of the targeted audience. Curriculum development is currently underway and courses are expected to begin in the spring of 2016 and be offered on a quarterly basis. Participants will have the option of completing seven (7) courses and earning a Certificate in Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation offered through NWIC. These certificate credits can be used to complete the Bachelor of Arts in Community Advocates and Responsive Education (CARE) Human Services degree at NWIC. The participants will also be encouraged to continue their education in a graduate program, such as the Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling (RC) program at WWU. After participants complete the training, the Institute will provide technical assistance through a dedicated follow-up process.

Ms. Laura Maudsley has been named the TVR Institute Director at NWIC. The TVR Institute Assistant Director is Dr. Elizabeth Boland, Professor and RC Academic Program Director at WWU. The Institute will hire additional key personnel during the second quarter of the project.