Ph.D. in Special Education

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“I appreciate the creative solutions that faculty commit to building community, collaboration and inclusion throughout the program.”

- Amber Brown Ruiz, Ph.D. ’21 (anticipated)

he Ph.D. in special education is designed to prepare researchers who are ready to assume leadership positions at universities, research centers, state departments of education, or other educational and governmental institutions in the field of special education.

Emphasis in this program is placed on developing in-depth knowledge about research, evidence-based practice, equity and inclusion, personnel development, and critical issues and policies affecting those with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.

The program is designed to provide a solid research foundation, broad theoretical perspectives and structured opportunities to develop expertise in research, teaching and policy/service.

The conceptual framework for the Ph.D. program is PRACTICE, which stands for Practice, Research, and Academic Coursework in Teaching, Implementation and Community Engagement.

Grounded in core knowledge through focused coursework and an emphasis on both “learning” and “doing,” doctoral students are mentored by senior faculty who are engaged in school-based research and dissemination via research internships, preservice and inservice educator development via teaching internships, and the large-scale transfer of learning and development of 21st century skills via policy/service internships.

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