Loyola School of Education awarded $3.3 million grant from U.S. Department of Education
| By Marcus Dean
Loyola’s School Counseling Program in the School of Education has been awarded a $3.3 million School-Based Mental Health Services Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant provides urgently needed resources to increase students’ access to school-based mental health services by increasing the number of qualified and culturally responsive mental health counselors working in K-12 schools.
The project, “Loyola University Maryland School Counseling Scholarship Program: Culturally Responsive and Inclusive School-Counselor Preparation (CRISP),” will increase high-quality mental health access for children and youth in Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) by improving the preparation and increasing diversity of school counselors who enter the workforce.
“I am excited that this grant centers evidence-based pedagogy to prepare school counselors with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to effectively meet the mental health needs of today’s culturally diverse high school students,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Loyola University Maryland.
The 5-year collaborative grant will have a transformational impact on the School Counseling program, Loyola, and BCPS.
Jennifer Scaturo Watkinson, Ph.D., LCPC, associate professor of school counseling and the program director of Loyola’s School Counseling Program will lead the grant as Principal Investigator.
“This award gives us the opportunity to strengthen our master’s training program and invite candidates from diverse backgrounds into the profession,” Watkinson said. “I am extremely grateful and excited to work with my colleagues in the School Counseling Program and Baltimore County Public Schools.”
Qi Shi, Ph.D., LCPC, associate professor of school counseling and the director of the Center for Equity, Leadership, and Social Justice in Education will lead the evaluation of the grant.
“As the founding director of the Center for Equity, Leadership, and Social Justice in Education, I am deeply honored to lead the evaluation for this project funded through the Department of Education,” Shi said. “I am very excited to see the positive impact this award will bring to our students in Loyola’s School Counseling Program as well as K-12 students they are going to serve in high-need schools.”
Other objectives of the grant include:
- Increasing the School Counseling Program’s student diversity by December 2027.
- Strengthening preparation at the School Counseling Program in culturally responsive and inclusive counseling practices.
- Decreasing the student to counselor ratio in BCPS.