This specialization examines trends, issues, consultation/collaboration, and instructional practices in special education. The curriculum, aligned with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Role Content Standards, allows students to focus their studies on systemic practices or issues in the field and specialized practices for particular areas of exceptionality. Coursework explores adaptive and assistive technology, collaborative instruction between regular and special educators, school-wide interventions, culturally responsive assessment, and training of special education teachers. The coursework culminates in a doctoral study that focuses on a real-world issue in schools or organizations.
The Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) Advanced Role Content Standards addresses six different areas that provide the groundwork for and informs the Ed.D. specialization in Special Education. Walden has written learning outcomes for the program that are based on the CEC (SPA) standards but rewritten specifically for these courses with measurement language. Learning outcomes for the Ed.D. in Education with a specialization in Special Education are as follows:
1. Demonstrates mastery of key concepts through scholarly writing and project completion, for legal and ethical policy that supports high quality education for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
2. Demonstrates mastery of key concepts through scholarly writing and project completion, to serve in a leadership capacity by creating procedures that respect all individuals and positive and productive work environments.
3. Demonstrates mastery of key concepts through scholarly writing and project completion, for the use of evidence-based practices for instructional programs at the school and system levels.
4. Demonstrates mastery of key concepts through scholarly writing and project completion, and the use of educational research to improve instructional and intervention techniques and materials.
5. Demonstrates the importance of an environment that supports instructional improvement by engaging in and developing a scholarly response to a local educational problem in a doctoral project study informed by a critical review of related, relevant research and theoretical frameworks, data collection and analysis, and resulting in a project or product that will ameliorate the problem.
6. Demonstrates mastery of key concepts through scholarly writing and project completion, of the legal rights of students, families, and personnel.
7. Plans, presents, and evaluates professional development that focuses on effective practice, including expertise to support student access to learning through effective teaching strategies, curriculum standards, and assistive technology.
8. Demonstrates mastery of key concepts, through scholarly writing and project completion, the importance of collaboration in special education, and the integration of services for individuals with exceptionalities.
- 60 total semester credit hours
- Foundation course (6 sem. cr.)
- Applied Research (6 sem. cr.)
- Core courses (30 sem. cr.)
- Project study (6 sem. cr.)
- Doctoral study intensive (a minimum of 12 sem. cr.)
- One 3-day academic residency
- Minimum enrollment of 10 semesters