College of Education


Special Education

Ph.D. in Special Education

Program Purpose

The mission of the program is prepare highly skilled professionals who will be able to assume leadership roles in the field, particularly in higher education/teacher preparation and national research organization settings, and high level administrative roles in school districts, state offices of education, and national professional organizations. Participants will develop extensive knowledge in areas relevant to special education, including legal issues, assessment strategies, instruction and support practices, family and professional collaboration, and research methodology. They will be prepared to contribute to the knowledge base in special education through research in a substantive and ongoing manner, and to provide national and international leadership in advancing the field with regard to research, advocacy, and professional practice.

Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge in various topical areas through preparation of literature reviews, classroom presentations, and training activities for educational professionals.
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of research methods through preparation and presentation of research proposals in classroom settings.
  • design and implement research activities relevant to school settings employing a variety of empirical research methods.
  • summarize and disseminate the results of research activities through appropriate professional outlets (e.g., professional journals, conference presentations, etc.).
  • prepare and submit proposals for research funding to a variety of public and private agencies.
  • provide effective instruction to teacher candidates and graduate students in higher education settings employing face-to-face, hybrid, and online instructional strategies.
  • provide effective direct supervision and training of teacher candidates completing teacher certification programs.
  • provide effective mentoring and guidance to graduate students engaged in research and other activities.
  • provide effective educational and administrative service in higher education and public school and district settings.
  • provide effective service to local and national professional entities (e.g., reviewing for professional journals, serving as an officer for regional and national professional organizations, etc.).