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Special Education Leadership Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education

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Residency Requirement(s):

Three ten-week courses with a four-day embedded residency experience (ED-R8925, ED-R8926, ED-R8927). See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

 

 

Twenty-Four Required Courses

 

 

88 quarter credits

Core courses:

ED7860
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners focus on becoming educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7864 *
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Prerequisite(s): ED7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7868 *
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Prerequisite(s): ED7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED8000
Advanced Studies in Education: Theory, Practice, and Purpose

This is the introductory course for learners pursuing doctoral, education specialists, and post-master's certification within the School of Education. Learners in this course focus on critical thinking and scholarly writing—requisite skills for graduate study and professional practice. This course provides opportunities for learners to acquire and practice skills necessary to succeed in online learning. In keeping with Capella University's focus on the scholar-practitioner model, learners also critically examine and apply relevant educational theory to their practice. Finally, learners articulate and examine their professional purpose and how it aligns with their chosen degree program and professional career aspirations.  Must be taken during the learner's first quarter.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

ED-R8925
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to initiate the development of a dissertation research plan. Throughout the course, learners focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for their specialization. Track 1 learners must also complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 1 learning outcomes. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED-R8930 instead. Should be taken concurrently with ED7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
ED-R8926 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In Track 2, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 2 learning outcomes. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED-R8931 instead. Prerequisite(s): ED-R8925. Should be taken concurrently with ED7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
ED-R8927 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Seminar Track 3 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to detail a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In Track 3, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED-R8932 instead. Prerequisite(s): ED-R8926. Should be taken concurrently with ED7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

ED7537
Emerging Technology and Multimedia for Curriculum and Instruction

Through an examination of research and literature, learners examine current trends and issues related to the impact of technology and multimedia on P–12 student teaching and learning. Based on a review of the literature, learners develop course projects that include the design of curriculum, instruction, and assessments enhanced through innovative technology and multimedia applications. The course provides real-world skills, tools, and field experiences designed to support school and district leaders and instructional support staff. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits
ED7541 *
Teacher Supervision and Evaluation

Learners in this course examine current theories and best practices of teacher supervision and evaluation. In particular, learners focus on instructional leadership and professional development as part of a systemic plan to improve student learning. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7545 *
Special Education Administration

This course provides an overview of special education administration functions and services. Learners identify the human and material resource responsibilities, activities, and challenges associated with integrating students with disabilities into educational programs. Learners also examine the ethical, legal, and financial roles administrators have to staff, students, and families in administering special education programs and services. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent enrollment in ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7550 *
Leadership for Director of Special Education

Learners in this course examine the leadership skills needed to lead and manage special education programs. The focus of the course is on developing a shared vision, respecting and advocating for the needs of exceptional children, leading the change process, and collaborating with families, school personnel, stakeholder organizations, and the community. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7545, ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7551 *
Special Education Curriculum and Instructional Strategies

Learners in this course analyze, develop, and evaluate curriculum and instructional strategies for students with diverse educational needs. Learners identify current instructional best practices, determine effective uses of technologies, develop curriculum and instruction plans, and evaluate the effectiveness of special education services in general and special education environments. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7545, ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7554 *
Internship for Director of Special Education 1

This course is the first of two consecutive internship courses that serve as the capstone courses for the PhD Special Education Leadership specialization. Learners assess their special education leadership competencies and demonstrate proficiency. They serve the first 160 hours of a 320-hour internship during which they create, sign, and fulfill a competency-based contract with their special education site supervisor and Capella University supervisor. Throughout the course, learners maintain a log of their experiences and develop a portfolio as part of their contract materials. For PhD Special Education Leadership learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. ED7554 and ED7555 must be taken in sequence and prior to the comprehensive examination. Prerequisite(s): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and the completion, submission, and approval of School of Education Clinical Practice Application. ED7545, ED7550, ED7551, ED7556, ED7557, ED7820, ED7823. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7555 *
Internship for Director of Special Education 2

This course is the second of two consecutive internship courses that serve as the capstone courses for the PhD Special Education Leadership specialization. Learners assess their special education leadership competencies and demonstrate proficiency. They serve the second 160 hours of a 320-hour internship during which they create, sign, and fulfill a competency-based contract with their special education site supervisor and Capella University supervisor. Throughout the course, learners maintain a log of their experiences and develop a portfolio as part of their contract materials. For PhD Special Education Leadership learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. ED7554 and ED7555 must be taken in sequence and prior to the comprehensive examination. Prerequisite(s): ED7554. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7556 *
Special Education Finance for Leaders

Learners in this course evaluate financial considerations of special education programs and services. In particular, learners examine historical and current federal and state regulations and how they apply to funding streams, including the policies and procedures that monitor special education programs and services. Learners also investigate the issues that affect the education of students with disabilities and their families, including budgeting challenges and the future of special education finance. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7545, ED7820, ED7822, ED7823. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7557 *
Special Education Law and Ethics for Leaders

This course provides an overview of the legal foundations and ethical practices of special education for the school administrator. The course also emphasizes the human and material resource legal responsibilities, activities, and challenges that confront school administrators when integrating special education through a continuum of programs and related services. Learners gain an understanding of the importance of special education laws and regulations and how to be effective leaders of special education programs. Prerequisite(s): ED7545, ED7820, ED7822, ED7823. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7820
Principles of Educational Administration

This course presents an overview of principles of P–12 education leadership theory and practice aligned with five Educational Leadership Constituents Council (ELCC) standards. The course incorporates multimedia, including embedded simulations, to enhance presentation and understanding of concepts and issues in school or district leadership and administration. Learners also examine business and public administration models and explore theoretical constructs from various disciplines. This course requires interaction with practicing school or district administrators and access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7822 *
The Funding of Educational Institutions

Learners in this course examine a variety of public education funding issues. In particular, learners examine the effect of litigation and politics on present and future funding patterns and school finance reform. Learners also identify the ways politics have affected the allocation of resources at all levels of government. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED5320 or ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
ED7823 *
Education and the Law

In this course, learners analyze the laws and legal issues affecting P–12 school systems and their constituents and study the tools and methods used to prevent and resolve legal problems. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED5320 or ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework:

EDCN9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes. Learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using pointscale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED9919 instead. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Completion of external exam requirements, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for EDCN9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

EDCN9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED9960 instead. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): EDCN9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits each

 

 

One Elective Course

 

 

4 quarter credits

Choose any graduate course(s).

 

 

Total

 

 

92 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners taking EDCN9919 in the PhD Special Education Leadership specialization are required to take the Praxis II Series Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision (0411 or 5411) test prior to being enrolled in the comprehensive exam. To be recommended for licensure learners must pass the Praxis II Series Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision (0411 or 5411) with a score of 145. Learners must identify Capella University as a recipient to ensure the score report is sent to the university. Learners are responsible for any costs associated with this assessment.

Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website (www.capella.edu). Teachers are advised to contact their school district to determine whether a program may qualify for salary advancement.

The Minnesota Board of School Administrators has approved the Special Education Leadership program for special education director preparation.

Arkansas residents are not eligible to enroll in this specialization.

Residency Requirement

To support your academic and professional success, residencies provide learning and community-building experiences in a stimulating scholarly environment. For this specialization, you must complete three four-day residencies (ED-R8925, ED-R8926, ED-R8927).

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

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Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 16 credits into this specialization.

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