Specialize in K-12 Special Education
Grand Canyon University's Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education provides training and research to help you become a leader in special education and ensure that all students receive a fair and appropriate education. Evening and online courses afford professionals the opportunity to accelerate their learning while performing in their career.
With an in-depth research-based approach, this doctorate in special education prepares you with the leadership skills needed for the role of an education strategic professional. Examine the history and theories of special education and methods of intervention in all environmental types. From the very first course, you are introduced to our dissertation process by exploring doctoral dispositions.
With subsequent Doctoral Residencies and milestones, you progressively build your confidence in understanding research, writing and dissertation publication.
Develop Your Skills in Special Education
In our special education doctoral program, you review current topics in education such as ethical dilemmas and stewardship, corporate social responsibility and the evolution of leadership theories. Analyze student assessment and data to improve fiscal management and ethical decision-making. Study the current and emerging trends in special education, with a focus on law and legal compliance.
What You Will Learn
Provide an Education for All Students
Throughout this online doctorate in special education program, you review the following topics:
- Global history and politics of education, with an examination of the political landscape and ethics surrounding education and governmental interventions
- Analysis and application of governance structures in special education
- Human development, educational standards and instructional tools
- Special education stakeholders, including students, parents, faculty, staff and community
- Leadership practices necessary to guide the construction of appropriate internal and external frameworks for educators and students
Explore Career Options in Special Education Leadership
This doctorate degree in special education provides educators and consultants with advanced study in educational leadership. Common careers include school administrator, lead special education teacher, special education consultant, curriculum developer, policymaker and learning advocate. Potential workplaces include schools and districts, social service agencies, government agencies and behavioral health organizations.
Program Core Courses
This course introduces students to the principal elements of research and scholarly writing. Learners explore approaches to synthesizing literature and the application of the major components of APA form and style, and learn to coordinate literature searches. Furthermore, they learn how to discern principal arguments, analyze research questions, and clearly identify the key scholarly attributes to journal articles and other sources of scholarly data. This course also introduces learners to the University’s overarching values and beliefs regarding research and the responsibility scholars have in continuing a tradition of contributing to an ever-growing body of knowledge.
This course provides an overview of seminal leadership theories and models. Learners focus on understanding the development and evolution of leadership theories and the range and emphasis of leadership research. Prerequisite: RES-811.
This course examines multiple ethical frameworks, principles, and theories as they apply to the study and practice of leadership. Corporate social responsibility will be addressed from the perspective of ethical decision making. Prerequisite: RES-811.
This course provides a broad overview of foundational elements for conducting independent, original research. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods are introduced and applied. The template for developing a research prospectus is also introduced, with emphasis on identifying a researchable topic related to the learners’ degree specialization. Prerequisite: RES-811.
This course provides a broad overview of the history and theories of special education. A brief overview of human development, educational standards, and instructional tools is also presented. Prerequisite: RES-811 or RES-850.
This residency allows students to begin developing their skills as academic researchers. Residency sessions address topics such as research question development, design, item generation, subscale development and analysis, and basic hypothesis testing. Students have hands-on experience with quantitative and qualitative analysis software.
This course examines special education law and regulations as a framework for the provision of appropriate educational opportunities for all students. Law as a foundation of best practice is discussed. Prerequisite: RES-850.
This course is designed to train learners in the conduct of a systematic literature review related to their research topic. Emphasis is placed on creating structure for reading, analyzing, synthesizing, and organizing prior research necessary for drafting the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 2 of the dissertation. Learners use the research prospectus template to guide the development of their Chapter 2. Prerequisite: RES-850 or MGT-810 or RES-825.
The course emphasizes analysis of the leadership practices necessary to guide construction of appropriate internal and external frameworks for K-12 educators and students. Within these boundaries, the course addresses student assessment, internal collaboration, and professional development. Prerequisite: RES-861.
This course examines budgeting, fiscal planning, and grant writing and management in the special education setting. Leadership skills for fiscal management and fiscal integrity are addressed. Prerequisite: RES-861.
This course provides learners with an overview of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches with emphasis on conceptual and practical aspects of data collection, management, and analysis. Learners use their research prospectus to align the research question(s) and variables of interest with the appropriate data collection and analytical techniques. Prerequisite: RES-861.
This residency prepares students to present their scholarly work and to thoughtfully critique the work of others. Students orally present papers developed in their own classes and respond to questions from colleagues. Students are further prepared to become active members in academic communities by learning how to review papers and provide comments.
This course provides an overview of the impact of leadership and the effects of behaviors on the formulation and execution of strategy within an organization. Topics include the increasing importance of resilience and change in today’s global and turbulent economy. Prerequisite: RES-861 or RES-866.
This course explores the opportunities and challenges facing leaders in the global environment. The course topics focus on aspects of leading global and diverse workforces, and on theories of leadership and leadership development in diverse and global cultures. Prerequisite: RES-861 or RES-866.
Learners complete a cogent research prospectus as the foundation for their dissertation research proposal. Emphasis is placed on fully articulating a study design and methodology that is aligned with the research questions and developing the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 3 of the dissertation. Prerequisite: RES-855 or RES-866.
This course examines the current and emerging trends and issues in special education within the K-12 setting. Topics are placed in the context of legal compliance and the provision of appropriate educational opportunities for all students. Learners connect these ideas to their research interests to continue developing components of their research prospectus. Prerequisite: RES-861.
In this course, learners formalize their research proposal specific to their topic. Emphasis is placed on fully developing Chapter 1 and incorporating Chapters 2 and 3 (drafts) from previous research courses. This proposal becomes the first three chapters of the dissertation upon approval of the final draft by the College of Doctoral Studies. Prerequisite: RES-880.
This course provides learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: RES-871 or RES-885.
This course continues to provide learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: DIS-955.
This course continues to provide learners with individualized support in their dissertation journey. Learners work directly with their dissertation chair and committee members to continue their research endeavors as aligned with their individual progress plan. Prerequisite: DIS-960.
Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.
Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.
* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.