2016: A Banner Year

The Department has much to celebrate. We can take enormous pride in KU’s new ranking as the #1 special education program in the United States. The Department’s longstanding reputation for excellence and ongoing contributions to the field of special education comes from our scholarship, knowledge mobilization, and teaching.  

Since 1997, when the first annual US News & World Report Graduate Program Survey (USN&WR) was published, KU has retained its top position. During the last 17-year period, KU Special Education has been named as the top overall graduate program (i.e., public and private) for nine years and remains the top public university program in the country. 

The Department has 24 full-time faculty members who teach at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral level. In May of 2015, we graduated 70 masters and 14 Ph.D. students.  Our faculty achieves some of the best teaching evaluations in the university, in part because of our continued commitment to teaching for all tenure line faculty members.  We published 4 books, 122 peer-reviewed articles, and 17 book chapters. Our faculty made 168 national and international presentations and held six editorships.  The faculty volunteered for 134 positions on editorial boards, held 178 leadership roles in professional organizations and brought in $125,624,153 million in grants. 

Our knowledge mobilization efforts resulted in reaching at least 15,000 professional educators, school psychologists, early childhood providers, and related services staff. We produced 216 monographs and reports and managed 26 different websites.

Contributing to the vibrant scholarly community here at JRP are the 34 full-time doctoral students who spend their days alongside us on the fifth floor, taking courses, writing papers, and participating in our research efforts in the communities that surround us here in Kansas and elsewhere.  We now have six specializations:  (1) Disability and Diversity, (2) Early Childhood Unified, (3) Instructional Design, Technology, and Innovation, (4) Policy and Systems Studies, (5) Secondary Education for Students with Extensive and Pervasive Support Needs, and (6) Evidence-based Practices.  Our students present with us at DEC, CEC, AERA, TED, TAM, AIDD, and Comparative Education.  As well, they are key to our work in SWIFT, CEEDAR, and the Online Center. 


#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Wayne Sailor directs KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, to develop a national center to assist schools
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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