The Special Education Ph.D. program is designed to develop the expertise needed to develop, examine, and disseminate sustainable practices that result in high achievement and successful independent living for children and adolescents with special needs.
Students in the program will develop knowledge and skills in four major areas:
- Foundations of evidence-based practice in special education. Students will recognize, evaluate, and sustain practices that are unique to different types of disability and those that are applicable to all types of exceptionality.
- Research. Students will design and implement ecologically valid research, develop a research agenda, work with practitioners to introduce and sustain evidence-based practices in schools, and disseminate new research among scholars and practitioners.
- Teacher preparation and personnel development in evidence-based practices. Students engage in effective teaching within teacher preparation and personnel development programs at institutions of higher education and in schools. They engage in teacher preparation that includes knowledge of national and state education standards evidence-based practices pertaining to basic academic and functional skills, assistive and adaptive technology, accommodations, learning strategies, positive behavioral support, and knowledge of how to teach in a variety of service delivery models.
- Higher education. Students will have concrete and critical opportunities for research, teaching, and service during their program, allowing them to immediately translate knowledge into practice.