Date of Award

Fall 10-24-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Arvin Johnson

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Chinasa Elue

Second Committee Member

Dr. Nicholas Clegorne


Current research tells us that when school administrators are not prepared to lead special education, the result can be an educational detriment to the student involved and cause a costly fiscal impact to the school district. The researcher set out to ascertain school administrators’ perceptions of the skills necessary to effectively lead special education programs; it was also important to gauge school administrators’ preparation to lead special education programs based on their special education knowledge. Ball and Green (2014) state that it is the role of the school principal to develop teachers and related support within their buildings, while Pazey, Gevarter, Hamrick, and Rojeski (2014) find that schools where special education programming is improperly implemented are confronted with lawsuits at increasingly higher rates. This study utilizes qualitative research methods through the use of transcendental phenomenology by interviewing current school administrators about their knowledge pertaining to special education and their perceived ability to lead the special education programs within the buildings they support. The interviews were conducted with two school principals, two assistant principals, and two special education administrators. The results of this research are discussed in detail, and recommendations are offered regarding how to better equip school administrators to lead special education.