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USwim offers fully funded graduate fellowship in adapted physical education

Graduate fellow will develop and implement an adapted swimming curricula for children with disabilities and their siblings without disabilities.

USwim is a new offering through U-FIT, a long-standing recreational service-learning program for children with disabilities at the University of Utah. USwim is recruiting a graduate fellow (GF) to develop and implement the adapted swimming curricula for 20 U-FIT participants with disabilities, and their siblings without disabilities, during the 2021-22 academic year. In addition, GFs will help 20 U-FIT volunteers (university students), who will work one-on-one with the participants, and modify content to meet the children’s specific needs in dance and swim. 

  • This announcement is a call for applications for the position of USwim Sorenson Legacy Scholar Graduate Fellow. 
  • Participants in USwim will explore an aquatic environment while learning water safety and swimming skills. In addition, USwim will support the development of social, cognitive and mobility/physical skills through an environment that values the voices of the participants with disabilities. 
  • Data Collection/Evaluation and Research: Project evaluation will come from the GFs, the semi-structured interviews with the participants themselves, focus groups with volunteers and field observations conducted by the project directors/other personnel over the course of the project year. 
  • The GFs will keep a reflective record of each USwim lesson taught during the program sessions. Such records will capture university volunteers’ ability to work with children with disabilities in swim and the improvement of skills among the children themselves. 
  • The GFs will complete IRB research ethics training prior to participating in research activities. 
  • Graduate funding is for one year (two consecutive semesters fall/spring). 
  • Funding amount: $20,000 
  • Competitive applicants may also be eligible for tuition waivers through the Tuition Benefit Program. 

USwim Sorenson Scholar GF responsibilities include (but are not limited to): 

  • Collaborate with the GF from the School of Dance UDance program. 
  • Teach 8-week adapted swimming classes for children with disabilities and their siblings on Fridays from 6:00-8:00 each semester (fall 2021, spring 2022). 
  • Help/Assist U-FIT volunteers (university students), who will work one-on-one with the participants, and modify content to meet the children’s specific needs in swim. 
  • Receive mentorship from Wesley Wilson, faculty in the Department of Special Education, for guidance in weekly data collection, analysis and planning.
  • Engage in weekly data collection and pedagogical adaptation and planning. Some weeks require more teaching, planning and data collection than others. 
  • Average fellowship hours per week: 20 hours

Directions for submitting applications 

Application materials should be submitted to on or before May 15, 2021. 

USwim Sorenson Legacy Scholar GF application requirements: 

  • Statement of Purpose (300-500 words). Describe your background as a swimmer and educator (your experiences and training). Include all relevant certifications such as lifeguarding, WSI, CPR/First Aid, teaching licensure, etc. Also, speak to your experience with research and working with those with disabilities. Finally, indicate why you are interested in working with USwim, how you feel that your background has prepared you for these responsibilities, and how this teaching and research experience will support your academic and professional goals at the University of Utah. 
  • Résumé.