Advisors: Kristal Ehrhardt, Paula Kohler, Shaila Rao, Sarah Summy, Luchara Wallace, Elizabeth Whitten
The Doctor of Education in Special Education prepares individuals to assume leadership roles in special education, serving as faculty in institutions of higher education, consultants to educational agencies, and administrators in special education programs. Graduates of WMU Special Education doctoral program are prepared to contribute to the knowledge and research base in education and to be discerning consumers of evidence-based practices in education.
Applicants are expected to satisfy all requirements for admission to doctoral programs specified by the Graduate College. Prospective students must also have acquired a minimum of two years of successful professional experience in serving persons with disabilities. Admission to the program is contingent upon a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination and the successful completion of a personal interview with a committee comprised of graduate faculty of the Special Education program in the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies. Application materials are available from the Office of Admissions and from the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies. Acceptance to the program is contingent upon alignment of program competencies and the applicant’s interests and experiences.
Following the interview with the applicant, at least one member of the graduate faculty of the department must express a willingness to work with the student as program advisor in order for the student to be accepted into the program. If two or more faculty members indicate a willingness to advise the applicant, the department chair will designate one to become program advisor. The program advisor will work with the student in developing the student’s overall program and may or may not become the student’s dissertation advisor.
Upon acceptance to the department, a Program Advisor will be designated to work with the student in developing the student’s overall program. In addition to the prescribed course work, the student will complete an internship in college teaching in special education. During the last semester of course work, the student will be required to complete successfully a written comprehensive examination.
All students in the program will be required to successfully complete a scholarly dissertation. Following the guidelines established by the Graduate College, the student will select a dissertation advisor and a dissertation committee who will guide the student in the development of a dissertation. Following the completion of the dissertation, the student will be required to successfully complete an oral defense of the dissertation as per Graduate College policy.