Most educators enter the profession because they have an enduring desire to improve the world around them by supporting and guiding the next generation of young learners. One way you may choose to change lives is by entering a career in special education. At Grand Canyon University, you will have the opportunity to grow as an educator and to learn how to assume a positive leadership role within your school community. By the time you earn your Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education degree, you will be prepared for the opportunity to succeed on any level—from family advocate to teacher to administrator to policymaker.
Supporting Early Intervention Initiatives
One of the most pressing issues in special education is the need for early identification and intervention. Research consistently demonstrates that the sooner a child with special needs is identified and given the necessary therapies and support, the brighter the future will look for that child. In many cases, early intervention directly correlates to age. That is, a child diagnosed with autism at age two can begin needed therapies well before entering grade school. As a leader in special education, you can help raise awareness within the community about early intervention at all ages. At its core, early intervention is about addressing symptoms and challenges soon after they manifest, regardless of the age of the student. Your leadership role within your community can include putting the focus on each individual child, rather than just students within a certain age range.
Serving as a Family Advocate
Despite high rates of special needs students in the U.S., families often feel alone in their struggles. Some families do not understand why their children need extra help, some are unaware of their legal rights, and many do not have a firm grasp on the diagnosis. Other families know exactly what their kids need and why, but are not sure how to go about fulfilling those needs. You can make a positive difference in the world, one family at a time, by serving as a family advocate. You can be an advocate regardless of what your actual job title is. Just knowing that someone else truly cares about their child can give a family peace of mind.
Encouraging Best Practices
Effective special education leaders are continually on the lookout for professional development opportunities. They stay on top of the latest research, know methodologies inside and out, and encourage their peers to do the same. They take the initiative to identify problem areas, educate others as to best practices and develop workable solutions. With a doctoral degree in special education, you will be a trusted professional resource within your community.
Grand Canyon University welcomes motivated learners. If a doctoral degree in special education is the right career path for you, click on the Request More Information button on the website. The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education degree program is offered by our College of Doctoral Studies.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.