New Special Education Scholarship

Rhode Island College Impact

The love and support for RIC students by late Professor Emeritus Joseph McCormick continues.

In school systems across the country, there has been an increased demand for teachers in the challenging and richly rewarding field of special education. Recently the sons of late Professor Emeritus of Special Education Joseph McCormick together with his colleagues and friends donated $25,000 to establish The Joseph McCormick Endowed Scholarship for students who aspire to pursue careers in special education. The scholarship honors the memory of McCormick, who taught in RIC’s Department of Special Education from 1967 to 2005, and his wife, the late Theodora McCormick.

Joseph McCormick
Joseph and Theodora McCormick

Richard Dickson, professor emeritus of special education, recalls McCormick’s excellence in teaching and in counseling students regarding the program, college requirements and their professional goals.

“He was a student magnet,” Dickson says, “with a genuine interest in all students. He was a very kind and generous person. Students sought out his sound and sensible advice that was always presented with good humor.”

“He was also an influential best friend to his many colleagues,” Dickson says. “He provided strong, thoughtful leadership within his department, his school and the wider special education community of Rhode Island.”

“There’s an acute need for more special education teachers in Rhode Island,” says RIC President Frank D. Sánchez. “The Joseph McCormick Endowed Scholarship will strengthen Rhode Island College’s ability to meet that need. Professor McCormick went above and beyond to address that need during his career and now he will continue to do so through the legacy he leaves with the college.”

“Indeed, this scholarship will go a long way in supporting our special education students,” says RIC Foundation Interim Executive Director Kimberly Dumpson. “From simple improvements to huge leaps, the impact teachers have on their students can truly be life-changing. We are extremely grateful for this generous gift.”

Applicants to The Joseph Mccormick Endowed Scholarship must be rising juniors or seniors who are enrolled full time at Rhode Island College. They must have completed 60 or more credit hours, have a GPA of 2.75 or higher, be enrolled and accepted into a special education teaching concentration and submit a 500-word essay describing an enjoyable and satisfying interaction with a student(s) with disabilities.