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Special Education Doctoral Program

Research. Evidence-based. Application. Pedagogy.

The Ed.D. in Special Education program prepares doctoral students with the competencies needed to conduct research and prepare special educators to teach students with disabilities, including high-need students with disabilitiesreap_concept (e.g., English learners, students living in poverty, students performing far below grade level), in diverse learning environments.

The doctoral program’s comprehensive approach has a strong research emphasis that provides students with a graduate-level teaching experience and allows them to have the unique opportunity to collaborate with local school personnel.

As part of the program, students will engage in three practicum experiences in higher education teaching, research, and school consultation and collaboration, providing opportunities for career advancement.

Students learn a wide range of skills in research and teaching and the ability to translate research into practice.

The student learning competencies are aligned along three domains:

  1. pedagogy for teacher preparation,
  2. research methodology, and
  3. school collaboration and consultation.

The program’s curriculum is also responsive to local/regional needs; the student learning competencies embed research and evidence-based practices related to English language learners, test bias, socioeconomic factors, linguistically appropriate goals, culturally responsive pedagogy, and collaborative-based approaches to learning.

Program Structure

stu_wtJacketThe doctoral program consists of 60 credit hours of study beyond the master's degree and culminates in the completion of a doctoral dissertation.

By taking 12-15 credits per year, students can complete the doctoral program in five years. See a typical program of study over five years  >>

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to conduct meaningful research related to the issues and challenges faced by students with disabilities, provide evidence-based teacher education, and collaborate with school personnel to improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities. They will be able to consider and address a variety of cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, contextual, and communicative factors as they prepare future K-12 special education teachers to serve students with disabilities.

Teaching Weekend Schedule

To meet the needs of working professionals, the program follows a schedule of alternate weekend classes that convene nine times a semester (Friday evenings and all day Saturdays). See Teaching Weekend dates >>

Distinctive Features

  • Cohort model
  • Summer courses available
  • Small classes
  • Mentored practicum experiences
  • Expert faculty in special education and educational psychology
  • Diverse and supportive environment

Our Students

stu_handsThe doctoral program is designed for working professionals. Our students come to our program from a wide variety of rich backgrounds related to serving students with disabilities including:

  • K-12 teachers
  • School administrators
  • District and county office administrators
  • Consultants
  • University and community college instructors