Ph.D. in Special Education
“I appreciate the creative solutions that faculty commit to building community, collaboration and inclusion throughout the program.”
- Amber Brown Ruiz, Ph.D. ’21 (anticipated)
The 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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VCU BULLETIN INFO
How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Summer or fall
Application deadline: Jan. 15
PRISE scholars extended deadline: Feb. 1
Concentration handbook [PDF]
Graduate assistantship application [PDF]
Faculty listing: Counseling and Special Education
Faculty areas of interest: Research areas
Application checklist [PDF]
- General admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School
- Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline
- Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
- Statement of intent
- Satisfactory scores on the GRE
- Transcripts of all previous college work
- A personal interview and additional writing sample (may be requested)
- Professional vitae/resume
FOR MORE IN-DEPTH INFO
Purpose of the grant
Preparing Research Intensive Special Educators (PRISE) is a collaborative grant project with George Mason University, through the Office of Special Education Programs (U.S. Department of Education) to prepare future faculty with expertise in research, teacher education certification and accreditation, teacher education preparation and policy. A key outcome is to support future faculty members who can translate policy and research to make a positive contribution to the teacher preparation environment.
Our PRISE scholars will be the first responders to translate and effectively teach, conduct new research, and learn from experts in the field new knowledge to answer questions relating to the teacher shortage. PRISE scholars will learn the skills to translate that research to the state and national level and create sustainable and meaningful impact for future generations.
This grant funds seven (7) VCU scholars for a four-year program that includes a generous annual $28,000 annual stipend for the 20 hrs./week GA position, in addition to the cost of tuition and fees for full-time enrollment. Technology and professional development travel included for all PRISE scholars. Support for relocation available upon request and approval.
- Opportunities to learn from the leading teacher shortage policy experts including Dr. Jane West
- Partnership with the federally funded innovative teacher preparation centers including the CEEDAR Center, AACTE, and IRIS Center
- Engagement with renowned teacher residency program, RTR, housed in the Center for Teacher Leadership, and other VCU/School of Education affiliated centers
- Connection to multiple teacher preparation pathways, including undergraduate, innovative early childhood cross-disciplinary initiatives, alternative pathways and residency models that engage with high needs populations across the state
- Join the R1 research university population that includes medical, policy, social science and arts experts to engage in cross-disciplinary research and policy advocacy
- Interest in completing the full-time in-residency cohort program in Richmond, Virginia starting summer 2020
- Completed application of the Ph.D. in Education, Special Education and Disability Leadership program at the VCU School of Education
- Recommend 3 or more years of teaching experience
- U.S. citizenship status
- Contact institutional representative to complete required grant application
Shadow a VCU Student: PhD in Education - Special Education and Disability Leadership
After you learn more about our program and research, email email@example.com if you would like to do any of the following:
- Visit one of our required track classes
- Tour one of our Research Labs in Oliver Hall to see research in action
- Review the collaborative Cognition and Learning research lab page to learn more about current projects and research being done in special education
- Review Dr. Sutherland’s BEST in CLASS grant research page to see our research in action in our local communities
- Review Dr. Xu's RAMS Lab for opportunities to conduct research on the nature and needs of academically diverse learners
- Meet one-on-one with our program coordinator
- Connect with a current Ph.D. student
Alternate contact email for this program: SOEinfo@vcu.edu