With nearly 6 million U.S. students in need of special education services, there is a growing demand for qualified educators to work with students with exceptionalities. The Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in Special Education can position you to advance in this growing field. Educators with advanced degrees in special education are the leaders in school districts, communities, institutions of higher education, and the profession.
Coursework in this program focuses on your professional growth while increasing your comprehensive understanding of the critical trends and issues impacting special education today. You will have the opportunity to engage in real-world case-study scenarios that require collaborative problem solving and the implementation of research-based strategies to master program outcomes. This program culminates in a scholarly capstone project focused on problems of practice related to special education as well as effecting positive social change.
The curriculum is informed by the Council for Exceptional Children Advanced Role Content Standards and focuses on key issues in the field of special education, such as leadership and policy, program development and assessment, collaboration, and ethical practice.
Minimum Completion Requirements
- 79 quarter credits*
- 1 face-to-face residency
- Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
To satisfy these completion requirements, you must have access to a school or learning environment that has special education programming.
Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation/doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation/doctoral study process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:
- Evaluate policies surrounding ethical and legal practices that support high-quality education for individuals with diverse educational, behavioral, emotional, and cultural learning needs.
- Implement valid research-based assessment measures to facilitate learning and behavioral interventions for individuals with diverse educational, behavioral, emotional, and cultural learning needs.
- Evaluate special education programs, including the integration of related services (e.g., assistive technology, behavioral intervention, transition, inclusion), for individuals with exceptionalities based upon an understanding of individual differences.
- Apply research-based strategies to improve data decision making, supports, and services for individuals with diverse educational, behavioral, emotional, and cultural learning needs.
- Facilitate the continuous improvement of education programs, supports, and services for individuals with exceptionalities.
- Effectively collaborate with stakeholders to improve outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities and their families.
- Design research to address a special education problem and contribute to the profession.