AU College of Education faculty get $875,000 in federal grants

AUBURN – Auburn University College of Education faculty members Rebecca Curtis and E. Davis Martin recently received a combined $875, 000 for their innovative projects in the field of rehabilitation through two, five-year grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

Both Curtis and Martin are on faculty in AU’s Department of Rehabilitation and Special Education. Their projects focus on undergraduate education and graduate rehabilitation leadership education.

Curtis, an assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling and undergraduate program director for the rehabilitation and disability studies major, will use her grant of $375,000 to place students in a course of study approved by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services that could provide a fast track into the rehabilitation counseling graduate program.

“The rehabilitation counseling profession has a shortage of qualified counselors, and a primary goal of my project is to show alternative ways of increasing the number of qualified persons entering the field,” said Curtis.

Curtis joined AU’s Department of Rehabilitation and Special Education in 2004 from Georgia State University, where she helped provide training opportunities to staff of community rehabilitation program throughout the southeast federal region.

Martin, a professor of rehabilitation counseling and graduate program director, will use his $500,000 grant to provide training in leadership and management to both rehabilitation managers and those with leadership potential. The state-of-the-art distance education technology used in the training program will implement learning and reduce time spent off the job.

“An innovative feature of this grant is the development of critical management institutes paired with the academic courses throughout the 16 month post-graduate program,” said Martin.
Martin joined the faculty in 2003 from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served in both faculty and administrative positions. He serves on Alabama’s State Rehabilitation Council and chairs its Program Evaluation and Consumer Services Committee.

The College of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation and Special Education recruits, prepares and graduates qualified individuals who are committed to and competent in assisting individuals with disabilities advance their personal, educational, vocational, social and economic goals. AU’s Department of Rehabilitation and Special Education rehabilitation counseling program was recently ranked 14th nationally among public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Contact: Colleen Bourdeau, (334) 844-4468 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (