The Ed.D in Special Education prepares candidates to be leaders in the field of special education. The program will prepare candidates to be knowledgeable of critical issues within the field of special/education, to engage in critical reflection of their positionalities and epistemologies as practitioners, to understand how historical legacies, legislation, and litigation have served to both include and segregate students with disabilities, and to engage in inquiry based learning as both consumer and producer of research.

Through this program candidates develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to serve as learner-centered specialists engaging in scholarly inquiry and research. Through the cognate and electives they deepen their expertise in a chosen area of study. This program of study thus provides candidates with the skills necessary to synthesize theory and practice through further examination of theoretically-based curriculum development, understanding of global education issues, and inquiry into making education equitable, democratic, humane, and socially just.

Doctoral candidates in Special Education complete 27 core hours of coursework in a common core, which includes 15 hours of research, and 24 hours from within their major. The core courses require application of learner-centered concepts and principles in the content area for which the candidate is certified and must be applied in P-12 settings. In addition, candidates complete 6 hours of electives and 9 hours of dissertation.

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