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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Special Education


Cindi Spaulding, Ph.D.
Cindi Spaulding, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor,
Liberty University,
School of Education
Regent Graduate, 2009

"Education opens doors and allows individuals greater choice over their destiny."

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Degree Overview

The online Ph.D. in Special Education provides continuing education for special education teachers by facilitating the learning styles of adults and providing a collaborative community for higher-level thinking and problem solving. The program places much emphasis on (a) acquiring rigorous analytical research skills and tools (quantitative and qualitative) for vocations in higher education; (b) supporting research that will result in publication in refereed conference, journals and books; (c) significant interaction and mentorship by doctoral faculty; (d) vocations in higher education; and (e) developing a mature understanding of an integrative personal and professional life centered on the historic Christian faith.

Undergirding the entire program is critical thinking, scholarly research, writing and learning from a Christian worldview. The capstone project, as with any doctoral program, is the submission and defense of a doctoral dissertation.

Spring & Summer 2015 Cohorts:
Ph.D. cohorts will begin in January and mid-June. A four-day residency will be held July 13-16, 2015 at our Virginia Beach Campus.

Ph.D. in Special Education Highlights

Courses: View Course Sequence and Descriptions
Length: 72 credit hours. Students have up to seven years to complete the program.
Format: Offered in a cohort model. Students may begin the program in the spring or summer semesters. Courses are delivered online with some required face-to-face components, including six hours of summer residency (three one-week, on campus residencies). School division cohorts are also offered in varying formats.
Results: Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education degree. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) is awarded after completion of 30 credit hours. The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded after completion of 72 credit hours.
Important Links: Apply Now | Tuition & Financial Aid | Faculty | Course Schedule
Features: Online coursework, concentration & dissertation advisor, and on-campus residencies

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Concentration Description

The online Ph.D. with a concentration in Special Education is designed to equip educators for a fulfilling career in special education with advanced preparation for leadership positions in special education research and theory, practical analytical application, policy and a comprehensive knowledge of the special education field to best serve children, youth and adults with high-incidence disabilities. Emphases in historical, quantitative, and written analysis prepare students for leadership careers as university faculty or as senior educational administrators. Read more about the Ph.D. in Special Education.

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"Ph.D.'s and Ed.D.'s are in high demand, and will be for some time." - Mark David Milliron

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Ph.D. in Special Education graduates will be able to:

  • Identify, respond to, and lead in important local, national, and global educational issues in a Christ-like manner from informed biblical perspectives.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how key theories and philosophies inform research, theory generation, and professional practice.
  • Evaluate educational research from philosophical, theoretical, and methodological perspectives in order to determine its contribution to scholarly research and professional practice.
  • Solve problems associated with research and professional practice by
    • analyzing data;
    • synthesizing information; and
    • applying critical thinking.
  • Provide intellectual leadership in producing and communicating scholarly research to significantly impact the field of education.
  • Demonstrate integrity, fairness, and ethical behavior in a Christ-like manner in research, teaching, and collegial service.