Ph.D. Program Structure
The focus of the doctoral program is the formation of scholars, highly-competent, socially-committed educational researchers, leaders, and teacher educators who design, develop, and use educational and social interventions that result in transformational outcomes. While the aim of the program is to prepare such scholars for tenure-line faculty positions in top tier research universities, program graduates’ knowledge and skill attainment prepare them for positions throughout the education enterprise and beyond. Graduates hold leadership positions around the country and the globe at top research universities, teacher preparation institutions, private and university affiliated research centers, foundations, research and development companies, and in various state and federal education agencies and legislative bodies.
The social context of the doctoral program is multicultural and multi-national. Coming from various backgrounds, cultures, and countries our students develop a global understanding of (dis)ability, education, and social systems. We continue to encourage applicants from across the globe and are pleased each year to welcome international students to our doctoral cohort.
Focus on Research
Doctoral students are grounded in interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge and prepared in the full range of methodological approaches to enable them to engage in transformational research. This process begins in the first semester as students quickly become immersed with their advisors and other faculty in research aimed at enhancing the quality of life of persons with (dis)abilities and their families. This apprenticeship continues through the point where students are capable of conceptualizing and leading their own research endeavors.
The Scholarship of Teaching
All doctoral students use interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks and a range of research methodologies to understand how teachers and other practitioners develop and improve their practice over time. The complex relationships between pedagogies, the design frameworks for learning environments, the needs of learners, and teaching interventions are explored in a number of ways throughout the program. Key to our scholarship is a focus on the relationship between outcomes for P-12 students and the preparation of teachers.