Concentration in Special Education

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Make a difference in student’s lives

Special education makes up about 14 percent of all public school students and accounts for more than seven million students nationwide1. It’s clear there is considerable demand for strong, creative leaders to shape the future of special education. Experienced special education teachers understand there is no other avenue where creativity and ingenuity are more rewarded in the classroom.

As a leader in special education, you can help drive that creativity and put your experience to the test as you work to bring out the best in your students.

Brenau’s coursework will further develop and hone your teaching skills to help you connect with students with diverse learning styles and better meet the needs of your students. From advanced assessment techniques to legal issues and current trends in the field today, this program will broaden and deepen your knowledge of special education and the students whose lives you change.

Potential career paths after graduation

After completing your Ed.D. with the Special Education concentration, you may qualify to take on leadership roles in:

  • Public or private schools
  • Private or non-profit ECE programs
  • Local, state or federal government agencies serving young learners and their families
  • Public or private research firms

Core courses

In our core curriculum, you’ll be challenged to understand the theory behind how education is practiced and critically explore the evidence for those theories. Regardless of your concentration, you will progress through the following 21 credits with your cohort:

  • ED 828 Legal Issues and Ethics—Understand the constitutional rights of students and educators; understand ethical and legal outcomes of student-instructor interactions and more.
  • ED 845 Curriculum Design, Theory, & Evaluation—Explore research-based practices for designing, evaluating, implementing and continuously improving curricula.
  • ED 860 Leadership in Education—Explore models of leadership and leadership development while building your own capabilities for creative problem solving through communication and interpersonal relationships.
  • ED 865 Academic Program Assessment & Evaluation—Take a holistic perspective of program and student evaluation, learn strategies for planning and evaluating assessment methods, and more.
  • ED 870 Educational Issues & Policy—Reflect and discuss current policy issues impacting the field of education and complete a research project based on an issue you feel is critical to the field.
  • ED 875 Cultural Perspectives & Leadership—Explore how diverse facets of individual identity impact teaching and learning, and look at systematic policy and other impacts on diverse students and instructors.
  • ED 932 Future Trends in Education—Evaluate and discuss emerging trends in teaching and learning, as well as the societal, political and economic factors driving them.

Research and dissertation advising

You will take 21 credits focused on advancing your research skills and developing the capstone of your degree—your doctoral dissertation.

  • ED 930 Advanced Research Methods—Build skills for analyzing data sets, evaluating research design and technique and designing research.
  • ED 935 Intermediate Qualitative Research—This is an intermediate research course focusing on quantitative methods including ANOVA, MANOVA, regression analysis, non-parametric statistics including chi-square, and introductory clinical trial design in a practice setting.
  • ED 940 Qualitative Research Methods—Comparisons and critiques of the major forms of qualitative research methodology and assessment of credibility, trustworthiness, reliability, and validity of studies that use qualitative designs are topics covered in this course. It will include development of research designs that can be used to inform therapeutic decision making and to assess intervention outcomes.
  • ED 960 Dissertation Advisement 1: Literature Review—Begin developing the dissertation by posing questions and reviewing existing content to find a specific issue or problem to address.
  • ED 965 Dissertation Advisement 2: Proposal—Build skills for designing the research for your dissertation, hone your proposal and begin developing the first chapters of your dissertation.
  • ED 970 Dissertation Advisement 3: Collection of Data—With advisor approval, enter the main phase of research for your proposed topic and continue producing chapters for the dissertation.
  • ED 975 Dissertation Advisement 4: Research Conclusion—Analyze your data, complete writing and revisions and prepare for oral defense of your dissertation.
  • ED 980 Dissertation Advisement 5: Dissertation Continuation (if applicable)—Students who need additional time to prepare their dissertation or submit corrections can enroll in a supervised continuation course.

Courses: Special Education

  • SE 891: Special Education Law—Immerse yourself in the laws and policies that apply to the education of students with disabilities.
  • SE 892: Advanced Special Education Assessment—Explore and research special diagnostic procedures proven effective for use with exceptional learners, with implications for prescriptive planning.
  • SE 893: Trends and Issues in Special Education—Evaluate and apply current trends, issues, and research in education to make decisions about effective teaching for students with disabilities.
  • ED 894: Transforming Teaching and Learning Using Technology—Explore the design, development and use of technology that benefits students with disabilities.

Advance in your career and do more for these extraordinary learners. Earn your Ed.D. in Special Education with Brenau University! Get in touch today to start the conversation with us.