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Your Guide to Earning a Doctor of Education in Special Education

September 18th, 2012 by

Doctor of Special Education Degree OnlineThe highest level of education that a person can earn is the doctorate degree. If you want to reach the top of your field, this terminal graduate degree can prove that you are a leading resource in your industry.

In education, students have to choose between the Doctor of Education in Special Education or the Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education. Although they are very similar, students will need to choose between the two when it comes time to apply for their degree program.

For everything you need to know about a Doctor of Education in Special Education, read on. The article will explain who should pursue a doctorate of education, what the degree program will look like, what kind of careers graduates are able to pursue and how you can earn your degree online.

Who Should Pursue a Doctor of Education – Special Education Degree?

While there is no one specific type of candidate who should pursue this degree, it is recommended that potential students already have vast experience in the field of education, have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in field, can commit to the duration of this extensive degree program and want to pursue the top careers in the field. If you are interested primarily in working as a special education classroom teacher, there is no need to pursue such an advanced degree. Students should be critical thinkers, have excellent communication skills and be strong researchers.

What Will the Degree Program Be Like?

A typical Doctor of Education degree in special education will consist of three major sections. The first section is traditionally 18 months to two years in duration and consists of classroom lectures and study. These courses will be on child psychology, special needs in the classroom, development in special needs children and educational research. At the conclusion of this, students will need to take a comprehensive exam before moving on. Then, they can begin an independent research and thesis project before embarking on a short internship. The final step to the degree program is usually a defense of the thesis in front of a qualified board.

How Long Does The Doctor of Education in Special Education Take to Complete?

Unlike most degrees at the bachelor’s or master’s level, there is no set duration of time for the Doctor of Education in Special Education. In fact, the time it takes is entirely dependent on the student in question. Very few students are able to complete the program in less than three years, and most students who pursue their doctorate full time can finish in under seven years.

What Are the Career Options After Graduation?

After graduating with a doctoral degree in special education, most students will either work as college professors, as lecturers, as educational consultants, as researchers or as curriculum development specialists. It is quite common for graduates to work in colleges and universities teaching undergraduates how to teach children in special education classrooms. Alternatively, they may find fulfillment helping school districts or large schools improve their special education programs, or they may design curriculum for classrooms at the state or even federal level.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Many doctoral candidates are surprised to learn that it is possible to earn your degree online. The first section of the program, consisting of classroom work, can be completed over the Internet through live lectures on webcam. The research and dissertation writing is typically completed alone, so that is an easy transition to online education.

If you are seriously interested in pursuing a Doctor of Education in Special Education, then you may want to consider earning your advanced degree online rather than in a traditional university campus setting.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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