The CSUSM receives grants for career and speech-language pathology projects

California State University at San Marcos recently received two grants, one that will help veteran students build careers in energy fields and the other that will help children with speech impairments.

The US Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research gave the university a $ 6 million grant for the first program, called the Veterans to Energy Careers program. The grant covers three years and is double the funding the program had when it launched in 2018. Veterans to Energy Careers places veteran students in internships that lead to careers in energy fields. The increased funding reflects the success of the program.

The $ 6 million grant will help many more student veterans, said Paul Tontz, director of Veterans Services at Cal State San Marcos, in a statement. Tontz is leading the project for VTEC with a team of four. “Another benefit is that this funding really highlights Cal State San Marcos’ role in helping veteran students and military-related students prepare for a life of giving back in meaningful ways.”

VTEC has placed 146 interns, and over 99 percent were offered jobs prior to graduation. Forty of the interns are or were veteran CSUSM students.

The second grant is from the National Science Foundation and aims to help children with speech impairments. The one-year grant of $ 250,293 comes from the foundation Small Business Innovation Research arm. The CSUSM will team up with Verboso, a Chicago-based company that creates therapeutic video games with automated feedback.

Alison Scheer-Cohen, Associate Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at CSUSM, will conduct the research with two student assistants. They will work in partnership with the Unified School Districts of San Diego and Capistrano, working with children with speech impairments. This means that they have difficulty saying certain sounds and words, which increases the possibility of reading and comprehension difficulties in adulthood.

Children will use technology to practice and record their speech at home. Scheer-Cohen and his team will use the recordings to refine the technology, which will provide feedback on the speech. With automation, the cost can be drastically reduced, meaning more children can receive treatment.


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