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Special Education

Have a Hand in Shaping the Future of Special Education

Do more for those who depend on you.

You help special education students exceed their limits every day. Now it’s your turn to do the same. With an Ed.D in Special Education from NSU, bring new knowledge and leadership skills to hands-on student work.

Instruct teachers. Lead a school. Partner with families, teachers, principals and service providers to deliver the right support. This program focuses on helping you understand and address these real-world, practical workplace challenges.

The Ed.D. program is a better match than a Ph.D. for educators who want to focus on hands-on implementation versus research work. Our graduates build rewarding careers as special education teachers, university professors, mental/health/social services providers, and school or district office education administrators.

Who Should Apply
  • Practicing teachers, administrators, human service professionals, mental and healthcare providers, and others working with individuals with disabilities; OR
  • Individuals with master's degrees or above who wish to obtain a doctoral degree and increase their knowledge and skills in special education; OR
  • Individuals considering a Ph.D. in special education or an online Ph.D. in special education who would instead like to explore the benefits of an Ed.D. in special education program

Now, You Can Earn Your Ed.D. With No Dissertation Requirement

At the FCE&SCJ, we understand that not all doctoral students wish to write a traditional research-based dissertation. We now offer an alternate opportunity that allows students to solve problems in a real-world setting. The Strategic Research Project (ESRP) is an alternative to the Applied Dissertation. Check out the Curriculum section below to learn more about this option.

We now offer Ed.D. students the option of a Strategic Research Project (ESRP) as an alternative to the Applied Dissertation. This project is made up of two 6-credit courses (ESRP 9000 & ESRP 9001) to be completed in 2 semesters after you have completed all of your required courses.

ESRP 9000 Strategic Research Project I (6 credits): This course represents the first phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students will begin the conceptualization and development of the Strategic Research Project. Students will identify the problem they wish to investigate. The problem can take many forms including but not limited to a problem of practice, challenge, or complex phenomenon in the student’s organization or in an organization they choose to study. Students will investigate this problem and provide multiple forms of evidence that demonstrate a need to focus on the problem in the particular organizational context. Students will (a) examine a problematic process/issue in an organization that could be improved through the implementation of planned intervention, (b) identify the specific evidence that serves to define the problem and the potential impact if it is not addressed, (c) determine a potential action, intervention, or change that could be implemented to bring about improvement, (d) review the literature to learn how other organizations have addressed the issue and which actions or interventions have been shown to be most effective, (e) discuss potential actions/interventions with your colleagues, professors, and other key experts in the field to gather additional ideas and feedback. Prerequisites: all prior courses

ESRP 9001 Strategic Research Project II (6 credits): This course represents the second phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students continue to develop their project as they incorporate feedback on the proposed intervention, outline a system of evaluation for the recommended design and integrate the content of the entire project into one narrative and final deliverable. While students are not required to implement the intervention, their final strategic research project should provide a detailed plan and evaluation strategy that, backed by extensive research, would result in the expected improvement in the organization or successfully address the organization’s challenges. In addition, the final product will include an insightful reflection piece analyzing what was learned from development of the SRP, , what worked and what didn’t, and what changes or recommendations for improving the initial strategy resulted from the experiences. Prerequisite: ESRP 9000

Recommended 3-Year Program Sequence

For Students Completing Strategic Research Project (ESRP): 

DOWNLOAD PLAN

FAQ (English)

Q: How long will it take me to complete the SRP?

A: 2 semesters. You will take two classes: 1st term, ESRP 9000, and 2nd term, ESRP 9001.

Q: Do I still have to complete a dissertation if I elect the SRP option to earn my Ed.D.?

A: No

Q: What happens if I do not pass ESRP 9000 (1st SRP class), may I still take ESRP 9001?

A: No, you must retake and pass ESRP 9000 before you can register for ESRP 9001.

Q: How many times can I retake ESRP 9000 if I fail it?

A: You are permitted to retake ESRP two times.

Q: If I choose the Applied Dissertation option, am I permitted to switch midstream?

A: Yes; however, the work that you completed for your applied dissertation may not transfer to your SRP assignments.

Q: Are the grades for SRP Pass/Fail or letter grades?

A: The grades for SRP are P (Pass) and F (Fail)

Q: May I register on my own for SRP or do I need an advisor to register for me?

A: Similar to the Applied Dissertation track, you must have the assistance of an advisor to register for SRP as you must have completed all required course work and have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of registration.

Q: Am I permitted to take other classes at the same time that I take SRP classes?

A: No, you must complete all of your required courses before taking SRP classes.

Q: Am I permitted to take both SRP classes together?

A: No, you must take ESRP 9000 first, alone and then ESRP 9001 second, alone.

Q: Do I have to choose an SRP chair?

A: No, the professor teaching your ESRP course will guide you through your project.

Q: Will I get the same instructor for both ESRP courses?

A: Not necessarily. Many sections of ESRP will be offered. Registering early is recommended as it increases the likelihood you will get the professor you prefer.

Q: Do I have to defend my SRP?

A: You will be responsible for a digital presentation along with a final report in ESRP 9001 to your class. This can be done in a virtual format.

Q: Does the SRP need to be about a topic at a workplace or can an external problem-solving topic be examined?

A: Employment site is not critical to the completion of the SRP. Students will have the option to use scenarios.

Q: Will I need IRB approval?

A: Given that you will not be implementing your study, IRB approval is not necessary.

Q: Do I still need to go to Summer Institute if I am electing the SRP option and not the dissertation option?

A: Yes, the Summer Institute is a requirement of the doctoral program. If you have not yet earned your Summer Institute credit, you must attend during the 2nd or 3rd year in the program. The Institute will offer SRP seminars for students who have chosen the SRP option.

Q: Will my diploma read any differently if I choose SRP vs Applied Dissertation?

A: No, your diploma will still read the same.

FAQ (Spanish)

P: ¿Cuánto tiempo me llevará completar el SRP?

R: 2 semestres. Tomarás dos clases: 1er termino, ESRP 9000 y 2do termino, ESRP 9001.

P: ¿Tengo que completar una disertación si elijo la opción SRP para obtener mi Ed.D.?

R: No

P: ¿Qué sucede si no apruebo ESRP 9000 (primera clase SRP), ¿puedo seguir tomando ESRP 9001?

R: No, debe volver a tomar y aprobar ESRP 9000 antes de poder registrarse en ESRP 9001.

P: ¿Cuántas veces puedo volver a tomar ESRP 9000 si fallo?

R: Se le permite volver a tomar ESRP dos veces.

P: Si elijo la opción de Disertación Aplicada, ¿se me permite cambiar a mitad de camino?

R: Sí; sin embargo, el trabajo que completó para su disertación aplicada puede no transferirse a sus asignaciones de SRP.

P: ¿Son las calificaciones de SRP Pass / Fail o letras?

R: Las calificaciones para SRP son P (Pasar), y F (Fallar)

P: ¿Puedo registrarme por mi cuenta para SRP o necesito un asesor para registrarme?

R: Debe contar con la asistencia de un asesor académico para registrarse en SRP, ya que debe haber completado todos los cursos requeridos y tener un promedio mínimo de 3.0 en el momento de la inscripción.

P: ¿Se me permite tomar otras clases al mismo tiempo que tomo las clases SRP?

R: No, debe completar todos los cursos requeridos antes de tomar las clases de SRP.

P: ¿Se me permite tomar ambas clases de SRP juntas?

R: No, debe tomar ESRP 9000 primero, solo y luego ESRP 9001 segundo, solo.

P: ¿Tengo que elegir un comité de SRP para poder desarrollar el proyecto?

R: No, el profesor que imparte tu curso ESRP te guiará a través de tu proyecto.

P: ¿Recibiré el mismo instructor para ambos cursos de ESRP?

R: No necesariamente. Se ofrecerán muchas secciones de ESRP. Se recomienda registrarse temprano, ya que aumenta la probabilidad de que obtenga el profesor que prefiere.

P: ¿Tengo que defender mi SRP?

R: No, sin embargo, usted será responsable de una presentación digital junto con un informe final en ESRP 9001. Esto se puede hacer en un formato virtual.

P: ¿El SRP debe referirse a un tema en el lugar de trabajo o puede examinarse un tema externo de resolución de problemas?

R: El sitio de empleo no es crítico para completar el SRP. Los estudiantes tendrán la opción de usar escenarios.

P: ¿Necesitaré la aprobación del IRB?

R: Dado que no implementará su estudio, no es necesaria la aprobación del IRB.

P: ¿Todavía necesito ir al Instituto de Verano si elijo la opción SRP y no la opción de disertación?

R: Sí, el Instituto de Verano es un requisito del programa doctoral. Si aún no ha obtenido su crédito del Instituto de Verano, debe de atender durante el 2do o el 3er año en el programa. El Instituto ofrecerá seminarios de SRP para los estudiantes que hayan elegido la opción SRP.

P: ¿Mi diploma leerá algo diferente si elijo SRP vs Disertación Aplicada? 

R: No, tu diploma seguirá siendo el mismo.

Ed.D. in Special Education

The following are specific admission requirements for entry into the Doctor of Education programs. Please refer to the admissions application or catalog for specific program admission requirements and information for international students.

  • Completed online application for admission, including ($50) nonrefundable application fee
  • An official transcript from a regionally accredited institution indicating a conferred master’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0, and official final transcripts from all institutions of higher education (community colleges, bachelor’s programs, post-graduate programs)
  • Professional letters of recommendation from two (2) individuals who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in a doctoral program
  • No entrance exam required
  • Completed Personal Statement of Goals
  • Completed Transfer of Credits form if applicable

FOR NON-NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency by providing proof of a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based or 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.

SPECIAL EDUCATION COURSE OF STUDY

(55 CREDITS MINIMUM)

 

CONCENTRATION AREA COURSES (27 CREDITS)

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
SPED 8402 Families, Law, and Exceptionalities (Required Course) 3
SPED 8404 Organization & Administration of Special Education Programs (Required Course) 3
SPED 8405 Collaboration and Consultation (Required Course) 3
Choose 6 additional courses from across the following areas:
SPECIAL EDUCATION
SPED 8401 Special Education Law and Policy 3
SPED 8403 Conferencing with Parents and Families of Individuals with Disabilities 3
SPED 8406 Transition, Career Development and Independent Living 3
SPED 8409 Multicultural Issues in Special Education 3
SPED 8410 Assessment and Evaluation of Special Needs: Cognitive and Behavioral Domains  3
SPED 8411 Issues in Special Education Administration 3
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
SPED 8801 Seminar in the Behavior Communication Connection
for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
3
SPED 8802 Seminar in the Nature of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
SPED 8803 Advanced Topics in the Assessment of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
SPED 8804 Advanced Topics in Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
SPED 8805 Seminar in Professional Issues in Leading Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
SPED 8806 Special Topics Across the Lifespan for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
SPED 9650 Behavioral Principles and Concepts 3
SPED 9655 Functional Behavioral Assessment 3
SPED 9660 Application of Applied Behavior Analysis in Education and Human Services 3
SPED 9665 Leadership and Ethical Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
SPED 9670 Ethical and Professional Conduct in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
RES 8919 Single Subject Research 3

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the current  Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination® (BCBA®).

NSU will be offering the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) 4th Edition Verified Course Sequence (VCS) until the end of the Summer 2021 semester. A new VCS (or concentration), consisting of the BACB’s 5th Edition Task list, will begin in the Fall 2020 semester. This new course sequence has been verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting BCBA certification exam eligibility requirements on or after January 1, 2022. 

For those students interested in learning and understanding the changes to certification requirements, please visit the BACB website: https://www.bacb.com/. It is strongly recommended that you register with the BACB (at https://gateway.bacb.com/Account/Login.aspx) to receive BACB newsletters. These newsletters contain the latest changes regarding certification standards as well as other pertinent information.

Click here for more information about BCBA examination pass rate. Please note, pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

*Please be advised that students completing the Applied Behavioral Analysis concentration cannot be placed in practicum sites within the states of California, North Carolina and New York due to state licensure regulations.

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED COURSE

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDD 8200 Leadership, Communication and Technology 3

 

RESEARCH COURSES (12 CREDITS)

Required Courses

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8100 Nature of Knowing: Epistemology and Inquiry-Based Learning (Required Course) 3
RES 9300 Methods of Inquiry (Required Course) 3

Please select ONE of the following research tracks based on your dissertation (please consult your RES 9300 professor and your dissertation chair prior to registering):

Quantitative Research Track

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8911 Quantitative Research Design 3
RES 8921

Quantitative Data Analysis

3

Qualitative Research Track

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8916 Qualitative Research Design 3
RES 8926

Qualitative Data Analysis

3

APPLIED DISSERTATION (12 CREDITS) OR STRATEGIC RESEARCH PROJECT (12 CREDITS)

The Applied Dissertation is a detailed, accurate, and cohesive account of a scholarly investigation designed to answer one or more research questions. It is required of all FCE doctoral students and its purpose is to improve practice in education and human services. The dissertation process consists of a total of 12 credits encompassing four major benchmarks.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
DISR 8966 Applied Dissertation 1: Prospectus 3
DISR 8967 Applied Dissertation 2: Proposal Development 3
DISR 8968 Applied Dissertation 3: Proposal 3
DISR 8969 Applied Dissertation 4: Applied Dissertation 3

STRATEGIC RESEARCH PROJECT (ESRP) – AN ALTERNATIVE TO DISSERTATION

ESRP 9000 Strategic Research Project I (6 credits): This course represents the first phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students will begin the conceptualization and development of the Strategic Research Project. Students will identify the problem they wish to investigate. The problem can take many forms including but not limited to a problem of practice, challenge, or complex phenomenon in the student’s organization or in an organization they choose to study. Students will investigate this problem and provide multiple forms of evidence that demonstrate a need to focus on the problem in the particular organizational context. Students will (a) examine a problematic process/issue in an organization that could be improved through the implementation of planned intervention, (b) identify the specific evidence that serves to define the problem and the potential impact if it is not addressed, (c) determine a potential action, intervention, or change that could be implemented to bring about improvement, (d) review the literature to learn how other organizations have addressed the issue and which actions or interventions have been shown to be most effective, (e) discuss potential actions/interventions with your colleagues, professors, and other key experts in the field to gather additional ideas and feedback. Prerequisites: all prior courses

 

ESRP 9001 Strategic Research Project II (6 credits): This course represents the second phase in the development of the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students continue to develop their project as they incorporate feedback on the proposed intervention, outline a system of evaluation for the recommended design and integrate the content of the entire project into one narrative and final deliverable. While students are not required to implement the intervention, their final strategic research project should provide a detailed plan and evaluation strategy that, backed by extensive research, would result in the expected improvement in the organization or successfully address the organization’s challenges. In addition, the final product will include an insightful reflection piece analyzing what was learned from development of the SRP, , what worked and what didn’t, and what changes or recommendations for improving the initial strategy resulted from the experiences. Prerequisite: ESRP 9000

 

SUMMER INSTITUTE (1 CREDIT)

Summer Institute is an opportunity for students to meet with Fischler College classmates, professors, and staff on-campus in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Students will be able to schedule individual sessions with their applied dissertation committee chairs to discuss dissertation work and with representatives from various service areas, including distance library services, student financial assistance, and program advising. The conference will also offer applied dissertation workshops enabling students to learn valuable information about the dissertation process, as well as roundtable sessions affording students the opportunity to present their dissertation work to a group of peers and receive immediate feedback.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
FSC 8000

Summer Institute (Residency Requirement)        

1

EXTENDED DISSERTATION SERVICES (0 CREDITS)

Beginning the 37th month of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program, students will enroll in ADS 8091, Applied Dissertation Services, in order to receive dissertation services and support from Dissertation Committee Chairs and/or other NSU faculty and staff. In cases where students are not enrolled in any classes prior to the 37th month and where Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) students require support from Dissertation Chairs and/or other NSU faculty and staff, ADS 8090 may be used to satisfy Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for continuous matriculation.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
ADS 8091 Applied Dissertation Services 1

*Note: Students must be registered for ADS 8091 to be eligible for continuing services.

 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM OF STUDY

DOWNLOAD PROGRAM OUTLINE


RECOMMENDED 3-YEAR PROGRAM SEQUENCE

For Students Completing Applied Dissertation:

DOWNLOAD PLAN

For Students Completing Strategic Research Project (ESRP): 

DOWNLOAD PLAN

Click on the button below to download the Course Equivalencies/Substitutions for the Special Education Concentration

Course Equivalencies/Substitutions

For advising assistance, please send an email to FCEadvise@nova.edu

Coursework for the Doctor of Education is available online, which allows international students and those who don't live near our South Florida campus to receive and submit coursework, and interact with classmates and professors, via the Internet. This distance education option allows busy professionals like you to earn your degree without work disruption or long commutes.

In addition to coursework, all doctoral students are required to participate in Summer Institute in Florida.

The Summer Institute is an intensive conference designed to give doctoral students the tools and support they need to complete their doctoral program. Students must attend one Summer Institute. 

LEARN MORE

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the current  Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination® (BCBA®).

NSU will be offering the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) 4th Edition Verified Course Sequence (VCS) until the end of the Summer 2021 semester. A new VCS (or concentration), consisting of the BACB’s 5th Edition Task list, will begin in the Fall 2020 semester. This new course sequence has been verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting BCBA certification exam eligibility requirements on or after January 1, 2022. 

For those students interested in learning and understanding the changes to certification requirements, please visit the BACB website: https://www.bacb.com/. It is strongly recommended that you register with the BACB (at https://gateway.bacb.com/Account/Login.aspx) to receive BACB newsletters. These newsletters contain the latest changes regarding certification standards as well as other pertinent information.

Click here for more information about BCBA examination pass rate. Please note, pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

*Please be advised that students completing the Applied Behavioral Analysis concentration cannot be placed in practicum sites within the states of California, North Carolina and New York due to state licensure regulations.

Professional Licensure Disclosure/Notification Statement

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice

Degree Title

Level

Degree

 

Education

 

Doctor of Education

Ed.D.

Concentration: Special Education

PROGRAM MEETS EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS*

PROGRAM DOES NOT MEET EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

CANNOT BE CONFIRMED IF PROGRAM MEETS EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS**

 

Eligible for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst®/ Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination.  

 

 

All states and U.S. territories 

Please be advised that in accordance with state and federal regulations, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is required to provide the following information to prospective students considering enrollment in a degree program that customarily leads to professional licensure, as well as current students enrolled in these programs. 

*Certification Disclosure for the Applied Behavior Analysis Track: The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

Licensure can vary from state to state, depending on each jurisdiction’s regulations and state laws. Although certification requirement is necessary in order to practice Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), we have not made a determination as to whether the program meets the educational requirements for professional licensure in your state or any of the U.S. territories that may require a license to practice. Please see U.S. Licensure of Behavior Analyst Directory.

**Professional Licensure Disclosure: At this time, we have not made a determination as to whether the Doctor of Education degree in Special Education meets the educational requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories outside of Florida. Thus, while completion of your NSU program of study may assist in preparing you for your future professional endeavors, we currently have not made a determination as to whether the program leads to professional licensure in the states or territories other than Florida. We encourage you to contact your applicable state licensing authority or certification board to familiarize yourself with the specific professional licensure requirements of your state.

U.S. Licensure of Behavior Analyst https://www.bacb.com/u-s-licensure-of-behavior-analysts/

Department of Education State Directory https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html?src=contact-us

If you have trouble obtaining the information you need, or if you have any other questions regarding certification, please contact Dr. Donna Hillier at donna.hillier@nova.edu (954-262-7264) or Dr. Emmy Maurilus at em986@nova.edu (954-262-6922) for assistance. 

Updated as of 5/29/20

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Click on the image above to learn about our most popular programs in special education, the history of their inception, and professional opportunities open to those who complete our programs.  

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