The PhD in Education, option in Special Education is designed to develop expertise
in the field of special education through evidence-based practices, research and teacher
preparation. We prepare professionals who value diversity, engage in lifelong learning
and advocate for quality educational opportunities for all students. Our doctoral
graduates go on to work with children with disabilities by helping to improve academic,
communication, social, behavioral and adaptive skills, while training others to do
the same as professors, consultants or teacher-leaders.
Research within our program is collaborative and interdisciplinary. We work closely
with our school psychology, educational technology, veterinary medicine and early childhood education colleagues.
Such collaborations have resulted in international travel opportunities, national
and international publication, grant funding and national conference presentations
for our students and faculty.
Our faculty represent a broad range of special education experience, including classroom
teachers, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, special education administration and school
Faculty highlights include:
Dr. Candace Schell is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with doctoral designation (BCBA-D), a certification
held by only 2 percent of individuals working in higher education. She is active in two grant-funded projects, including Project Aware and Project Engage. She was also featured in this episode of Straight Talk About Research.
Dr. Penny Cantley was the lead writer on ME!, a curriculum developed to help educators teach transition skills to students with
disabilities. She is also actively involved in interdisciplinary research and service that examines the implementation of animal assisted interventions (AAI) and animal
assisted activities (AAA) as supports for students with and without disabilities in
secondary and postsecondary education settings.