Hi, my name is Karen Douglas and I’m the doctoral program coordinator in the Department of Special Education at Illinois State University. The purpose of the Special Education Doctoral Program is to provide leadership to the field of Special Education within a school district or higher education institution. We are recruiting students who have a Master’s Degree in Special Education or in a related field such as School Psychology, School Social Work, or Speech Pathology in addition to individuals who have several years of professional work experience with children or adults with disabilities.
Most of our doctoral students have positions in the field of Special Education and are enrolled part time. Part-time students typically register for 6 credit hours of coursework each semester. However, we also have a few full time students. The full time students take 9 hours of coursework and are usually employed as graduate assistants within the department where they are involved in teacher preparation and research activities. All of our courses are offered at night. Most students complete the program in 5-6 years. Our doctoral program requires students to complete formal coursework and professional experiences related to teacher education, research in an area of your interest, and program development, management, and evaluation. The programs’ capstone project is a doctoral dissertation. With over 20 graduate faculty members having expertise across all areas of exceptionality and related topics, we support our doctoral students as they conduct relevant dissertation studies that make meaningful contributions to the field of Special Education.
We’re proud to say that our doctoral program graduates are well prepared to assume positions as faculty members at institutions of higher education, as well as assume leadership positions in prek-12 schools in the field of Special Education.
If you are interested in pursuing a doctorate in Special Education, now is the time to start this challenging but rewarding journey. Take a look at our website for additional information and feel free to contact Karen Douglas, the doctoral program coordinator with any questions. If you feel this program might be the right match for you, we look forward to hearing from you and receiving your application.