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Doctor of Special Education

Earn Your Doctorate Degree in Special Education

If you plan on working toward an online doctorate degree in special education, you may be able to earn your degree with four years of full-time study after completion of a bachelor's degree. Some students may require more or less time, and it may depend on the amount of course work you can handle and whether you choose to study full or part-time. In addition to studying special education as a whole, you may want to choose a specialty to focus on. Some specific areas of study include early childhood special education, visual impairments, severe disabilities, and learning disabilities. These specialties are designed to address how to meet the special needs of individual students with developmental, behavioral and physical disabilities.

In order to graduate with a doctorate in special education, you will be required to complete the program's basic core curriculum. In addition, you may also be expected to complete a research project in collaboration with a faculty member. After completing a research project and studying its results, you will be required to submit and defend a dissertation based on your findings.

Career Paths :

If you decide to earn a doctorate degree in special education, you will need to become familiar with the licensing requirements in your state. Since licensing and certification requirements vary, it's important that educators who want to work in the field of special education become up-to-date with local licensing procedures.

Earning an online doctorate degree in special education can lead to opportunities in a wide variety of careers. Some of the possibilities include:

Special Education Teacher - Special education teachers may work in a public or private school setting and are responsible for creating a positive learning environment for students with mental, learning, emotional and physical disabilities. In addition to regular classroom activities, special education teachers are also regularly required to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in order to help each individual student reach their goals. These teachers need to be flexible, as they may have to tailor their curriculum and programs to the changing needs of their students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for teachers in special education are expected to increase 17 percent nationally between 2010 and 2020 (bls.gov, ooh, 2012). The expected growth is due to a projected increase in school enrollment and the continued need for special education services.

Postsecondary Teacher - Graduates who have earned an online doctorate degree in special education may qualify to teach postsecondary education as a college professor or teacher. Professors in the field of special education help prepare students for a career helping students with special needs. They may be responsible for creating lesson plans, developing curriculum and advising students on how to achieve their academic goals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of postsecondary teachers will increase 17 percent nationally from 2010 to 2020 (bls.gov/ ooh, 2012).

Career Earnings :

Earning your online doctorate degree in special education may increase your job prospects compared to your peers. This is due to the wider variety of jobs that could be available to graduates with an advanced degree. Individuals with a doctoral degree in special education can choose to work as a teacher or college professor, or even in school administration or research.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teachers earned a national annual mean wage of $73,770 in May 2012, while special education teachers earned a national annual mean wage of $58,140 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Preschool special education teachers earned a national annual mean wage of $57,770, and special education teachers who worked in secondary schools earned a national mean annual wage of $60,090 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). It's also important to note that wages can vary due to geographic region, skills and experience.

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition," Special Education Teachers, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-1

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition," Postsecondary Teachers, April 10, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-6

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#25-0000

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Special Education - Doctor of Education
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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  • Online Courses
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Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction - Curriculum Studies Concentration

About the University of South Carolina

With more than 200 years of history and a mission to enhance the industrial, economic and cultural potential of the state of South Carolina, the university is leading the way forward in creating new opportunities to explore, discover and advance the field of technology.

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PhD in Educational Leadership
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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Doctor of Management – Higher Education Teaching and Learning
  • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
  • Its online MBA program was named by the International Graduate Forum as a top 10 Online MBA Program in 2012.
  • Listed as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine in 2014.
  • Lets students watch, view, read, or hear content through its program, My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.).
  • Has additional campus locations near military bases in Colorado Springs and Denver.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction/Curriculum and Assessment

• Students may choose from a wide variety of programs, including business, health sciences, nursing, liberal arts, science & engineering, and more.
• Small class sizes and an average student-to-faculty ratio of 22:1 allows students to get more personalized attention.
• Ranked among the top High School Counselor Rankings in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.
• Designated as a 2017 Military Friendly® Schools: Gold award recipient by Victory Media.

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