Teaching & Learning
Teaching and Learning Ph.D.
Specialization in Special Education (SPED)
The University of Miami’s Department of Teaching and Learning is pleased to offer a doctoral specialization in special education with a focus on students with high-incidence disabilities. This specialization includes participation in ongoing faculty research and a strong emphasis on the intersection of special education and diversity issues. Doctoral students selecting this area of specialization are expected to develop expertise in a wide variety of methods appropriate to research in special education through coursework, seminars, and research assistantships. Students are encouraged to gain college-level teaching experience, to seek involvement in school and community projects, and to collaborate with graduate students and faculty both within the School of Education and Human Development and across other UM Schools and Colleges.
Our Students’ Career Objectives
- Tenure track or clinical faculty positions in Schools of Education at universities or colleges, especially Research I universities
- Teacher educators in higher education institutions:
- Research positions in educational research organizations
- State or district program or curriculum specialists
- Leadership and/or development positions in public non-profits
- Research and development positions in for-profit educational enterprises
WHO SHOULD APPLY TO THIS PROGRAM?
This program is designed for individuals who intend to pursue a career as faculty in institutions of higher education or as leaders in the special education community. We foresee that graduates will use their research skills to conduct independent research in the area of special education and/or provide expert advice to schools, school systems, nonprofit organizations, and/or other agencies on issues such as curriculum and instruction, staff development, and family involvement related to promoting the positive development and academic achievement of children with disabilities.
Studying EM was a unique experience, engaging students in experiences with professionals working in the field instead of sitting in a lecture hall and learning strictly from text. The program afforded me the opportunity to network with professionals both at UM and institutions nationwide. I credit my current employment to the program’s hands-on approach to understanding EM and the real conversations about the higher education landscape. In my position, I have been involved in enhancing business processes and developing technological solutions to increase staff efficiency and enrollment numbers.
The HE/EM program gave me the foundation to work in a variety of higher education settings. At the core is the importance of synergy, open communication, coordination, and assessment. Strategic thinking and planning were key takeaways. I gained the ability to assess the big picture as well as focus on the day-to-day factors affecting the students and the institution. Daily, I use the skills gleaned from the program.
I left UM in 2005 to come to FIU in the College of Business as an academic advisor. Without my degree in EM/Higher Ed, I never would have been able to move up the chain at FIU so quickly. By the end of 2006, I was director of advising for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and by 2008, was assistant dean of the Honors College, where I had direct oversight of admissions, recruitment, retention, and graduation. In 2016, I joined the faculty of the Honors College to teach full time. I very much owe my career in higher education to EM. The program and work experience it afforded me are now contributing immensely to my role as a faculty member.
I’m finishing up my eighth year of teaching at Palomar College, where I earned tenure four years ago. For the last three years, I have served as Faculty Senate president. I’m co-chair (with the Vice President for Instruction) of our Strategic Enrollment Management Committee; I helped initiate the committee and worked to draft our college’s first ever strategic enrollment management plan. I use the skills and knowledge I learned in the program every day as I help to break down silos at Palomar and move us forward as an institution that puts students at the center of everything we do.
EM was exactly what I wanted and needed personally and professionally. It was on the forefront of cutting-edge solutions and applications in higher education, and I continually apply the principles learned almost every day. I am the Project Manager/Advising-Transfer Specialist of a five-year, $6 million Title III Grant at HCC, and I began my Doctor of Education degree at the University of St. Francis in Fall 2018. I strongly feel that without the program, my peers, and professors, I would not be where I am today.
What a deserved milestone for the program. For the past four years, I have been at Borough of Manhattan Community College, managing student affairs communications to retain our 27,000 students. I have no doubt that the strength of the program contributed to my hiring, especially having an innovative capstone portfolio to bring to the interview. The two-track Enrollment Management/Student Life & Development degree/certificate options are also noteworthy. I look back fondly on the program as a family of dedicated, knowledgeable professors and a cohort of classmates eager to learn.
Awareness and intentionality are two invaluable qualities that Higher Education program faculty were able to inspire. Realizing what you do, how you do it, and who you involve has made all the difference in connecting the classroom experience to professional practice, and this has been the key to all of my professional successes.
EM taught us principles that the rest of higher education is just beginning to leverage today. The tools the program provided have allowed me to not only fast track my career, but also ensure that I am a leader on which my institution and profession can rely.
Hard to believe it is 20 years! I’m in my 18th year at Villanova University as Senior Associate Director of Admission. Needless to say, I use my EM degree on a daily basis and continue to appreciate the degree personally and professionally. The degree is particularly impactful when trying to predict the enrollment for the next year’s class (especially being in our second year of Early Decision). There’s never a dull moment!
For a graduate who works at UM, the greatest advantage of the program has been to build an active network that benefits me in my job. By serving as a judge for the program’s practicum poster presentations every year and participating in other events, I have managed to create connections that have led to fruitful collaborations, which exemplifies EM.
The principles I learned in EM have aided me in both my professional and personal life. I use strategic planning in everything from aiding my clients in reaching their institutional goals to preparing for my next family vacation. Forecasting, program evaluation, the 4 C’s/P’s, all provided management training that continues to serve me well as a business owner, postsecondary education consultant, author, and speaker. I am grateful for the privilege to be part of the amazing 20-year EM legacy!
As an EM student in the Higher Education Program, I was immersed in projects that prepared me for my current role as college recruiter. I’m making informed decisions daily based on data and tools I acquired to be innovative in my recruitment practices. The HE program allowed me to dive into the EM world and led me to where I am now.
How grateful I am for the lessons learned in EM. I’ve had a very satisfying professional career, and it’s all because of the way Paul, Scott, and Carol-Anne prepared us. The case studies, the case study method, readings, papers, and the capstone course fundamentally shaped the way I manage my professional roles. I teach first-Year experience classes using case studies, and I have taught them to use the case study method as an approach to solving problems.
If I had to "do it all over again," I would choose the EM program every single time. I'm convinced today that Paul and Carol-Anne saw the Enrollment Management Geek in me before I even knew she existed, and I've been discovering her and nurturing her in the years since completing the degree. Today, I am humbled to think that I’m in an admissions senior leadership position at Caltech, where I have been a part of materially changing the enrollment demographics of the undergraduate population in my four years here. I am also now in my second year as a Ph.D. student in Colorado State University's Higher Education Leadership Program. All of this has been possible because of my EM foundation built at Miami.
I enjoyed the program’s focus on data-driven decision-making, predictive modeling, and strategic planning. While a full-time student, I also worked full time at UM as an assistant director in admission. I was able to use the knowledge gained to tackle projects and improve several programs in real time. Upon graduation, I became an assistant dean of admissions, and I now work on the Pomona College Access Team (PCAT) and with the Pomona Academy for Youth Success (PAYS), both aimed at increasing enrollment and supporting underrepresented students.
The Enrollment Management Program provided a great blend of theory and practice. I was able to formulate connections between what I was actively learning in the program’s interdisciplinary curriculum and my day-to-day practice in enrollment management; it was definitely worth the investment.
When I started the program more than six years ago, I was an office assistant in UM’s Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment. I’m now Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission at UM. Without the program, I wouldn’t have progressed in such a short time frame.
In addition to the irreplaceable campus aesthetics, the University of Miami provided me with opportunities that prepared me for the next step in my career. Earning my Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning was a challenging journey that was nurtured by my fabulous peer cohort, generous Department faculty, expert faculty across campus, and an advisor whose knowledge and guidance ensured my success.
The critical and often intersectional lens through which we learned to read, analyze, and conduct research [in the Teaching and Learning Department] broadened my intellectual capacity and allowed me to examine and challenge my own beliefs about teaching and learning. This process, alongside strong mentoring and support from faculty, shaped what I like to call my “transition” from a teacher to a teacher educator.
What I want to share is how helpful the EdD program has been, how the theories and research we learned really do inform practice and world view. They become internalized and part of the everyday and help illuminate ways forward. . . . I can perceive now what has happened, this developmental process and transformation, and I know that I am a high-level professional because of it.
This was a great experience in linking theory to practice.
This course is the most effective way to learn about higher education in practice. I have gained knowledge I will use.
We were truly challenged to think critically about our experiences at our practicum sites, which is an important piece of this class: purposeful reflection.
My time in UM’s Community and Social Change program was an opportunity to grow in understanding and empathy, while sharpening my professional skills. The dialogue and assigned readings provided an in depth review of various social issues and how we can begin to work with communities to address them. However, the program’s flexible nature allowed me to push myself to get the most out of my time in the program, allowing me to sharpen skills in writing, synthesizing information, time management, and project management.
The entire program was fantastic. My favorite memories were of the group discussions in class, the new exposure to tools like Prezi, and of course the wonderful potlucks and get togethers.
"I have found a significant paragon that symbolizes our entire program material: a tool-kit created for developing social consciousness. The experiences I accumulated these past 18 months have represented a fundamental contribution both academically and towards critical consciousness development. I came to this program with a pre-conceived view of me, my place in the world, my individual contribution. However, after interacting with the material used during the Community and Social Change course - readings, lectures, seminars, projects, practicum site - I am gratified to state that I feel much more empowered, significantly more prepared and strongly ready to advance in my personal commitments of being an agent of change". (Part of my Capstone Project "Social Impact Movement" presented on April 2016 at University of Miami) (Part of my Capstone Project "Social Impact Movement" presented on April 2016 at University of Miami)
Beyond the knowledge gained, it's the relationships I've developed I most value - with professors, students and within the community - and will carry forth with me. :)
The Community and Social Change program allowed me to combine graduate school with Peace Corps Service and in the process I learned how to become an agent of change, use a holistic framework for well-being and develop skills to evaluate programs.
Wow! There is so many memories. I would say my fondest memory is attending the intervisions. The Master's in Community & Social Change Program is a vibrant family. A family that is made up of a collection of individuals who are aspiring to make this world a better place. We come from different walks in life: education, politics, sociology, psychology, business, etc. Be as it may, the beauty of it all is that we recognize that our collective voice will be key to creating a preventive transformation in society (rather than an ameliorative approach). So cheers to those who are not afraid to go to the grassroots of our societal issues, and strive to effectuate change!
My greatest takeaway from the program are the relationships I built there, with faculty, my peers, and community members. I gained a solid foundation for humanizing research and social change through authentic relationships.
One of the best memories I have was of that first weeklong seminar that started our journey, led by Isaac.
Best memory would be graduation, the spirit of community is evident in everybody's celebration of each other
I have only fond memories of the program. It was especially a great tool in exercising a broader way of thinking and also a wonderful vehicle for meeting like-minded good doers!!
I have many memories from the program - mostly of the classes, which I enjoyed tremendously. I remember our initial class with Isaac Prilleltensky, I remember assisting Scot Evans with a logic model presentation for a local organization, I remember many conversations with Laura Kohn-Wood about my ideas and development, and I remember the culminating class on managing community organizations and having the whole cohort together to celebrate the end of our 'core' classes. The overall experience changed my perspective on the world and myself in ways I hadn't expected or predicted. I'm fortunate to have been a part of the 3rd cohort, and grateful.
My fondest memory was attending the Global and Social Change Leadership Institute at NYU Wagner, as an Independent Study. This experience provided me the opportunity to strengthen my leadership ability, skills and learn about cutting-edge research on leadership and social change. Alongside 30 other students from around the world, I was exposed to different perspectives and first-hand experiences on what makes organizations successful in advancing social justice.
I have made so many lasting friendships and valuable professional relationships with my cohort, the cohorts after me and with faculty, administrators and staff at UM school of Education and Human Development. I feel it has truly become the base of our network in Miami for Educate Tomorrow.
I was accepted into the CSC program after I had been in the not for profit sector for a decade. I was astounded on how much information I gained to project the organization I founded to the next level. It's been 5 years since I graduated and have had tremendous growth, and insight into our expanding methodology. The other added benefit is the remarkable students we met, and continue to meet. I believe we have hired over 11 CSCers since the program started.
I appreciated learning about the approaches of community psychology and prevention science. We have too many reactionary interventions to social problems in the United States. While it feels we are often the lone voices in solution-finding for social problems, I feel these approaches are very much needed in our world.
I am truly enjoying my experience in the Community and Social Change master’s program thanks to the conversations with my outstanding colleagues, the education from my experienced professors and the great opportunities of networking here in Miami. This program has provided a space for understanding the view of Community psychologists towards our societal problems, and for preparing us to become active social leaders that will transform our societies. Next semester, I hope to get more involved in academic, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and mobilize all the innovative and helpful resources at UM.
With a UM degree I feel like I will be able to do more than just be a coach. It gives me a lot more options. The networking is also unbelievable, I have gotten access to front offices and influential sporting people in the industry.
I love the diversity of students, the professors and classes, all of the fun events, the great weather, and the incredible school spirit.
The Campus! Studying on the green, eating at the Rat with friends or simply hanging out by the lake, there's no way you can ever have a bad day at the U!
PROGRAM OF STUDY
Core Special Education Courses (12 credits)
TAL 753: Cognitive Psychology in Special Education
Learn about different cognitive theorists and discuss various theoretical positions as to their strengths and weaknesses within and across theories.
TAL 756: Research in Special Education
Critical analysis of empirical research studies in selected areas of special education research focusing on research designs, data analysis methods, and interpretation.
TAL 755: Current issues in special education
Current issues and trends in special education from historical, societal, policy, practice and research perspectives.
TAL 752: Seminar in Reading and Learning Disabilities
Open only to advanced graduate students in reading and learning disabilities pursuing specialist or doctoral degree.
TAL 754: Disability and diversity. Critical views:
Examines critical issues in the cultural/historical conceptualization of the field of special education, against the background of cross-cultural views of disabilities.
Coursework in Diversity
TAL 703: Issues and Trends in Multicultural Education
The study and critical examination of the theory and practice of multicultural education. Development of a personal theory of effective education for pluralism.
In addition to TAL 703, students will take at least two graduate-level courses organized around thematic topics involving diversity in its various manifestations. The courses may be taken from different departments (e.g., psychology, sociology, modern languages, law) or may be part of a master's degree program; nonetheless, they should form a coherent whole. The student and advisor shall determine which courses from across the University of Miami campus can be used to meet this requirement. Topics in diversity that are considered acceptable for thematic study include: (a) poverty and social class, (b) gender, (c) race and ethnicity, (d) exceptionality, (e) culture, (f) urban issues, (g) rural issues, (h) emigration, and (i) international issues.
General Teaching and Learning Requirements
TAL 702: The Social and Cultural Foundations of Education
This course is an interdisciplinary seminar reviewing the major literature in the Social and Cultural Foundation of Education. Classic, Modern and Post-Modern texts will be read with an emphasis on the literature written after 1980 (Post-Modern). Emphasis will be placed on the exploration of key policy questions, as well as the analysis of key sociological concepts related to the field such as hegemony, cultural reproduction, social capital and privilege. The course is intended to provide a "baseline" for understanding the field.
TAL 704: Introduction To Learning Theories/ Learning Sciences
This course explores perspectives and research on domain-specific and domain-general learning in and out of schools. It examines various perspectives researchers use to inform their work and how these perspectives provide insight into what it means to learn and know.
TAL 700: Proseminar
Consists of a series of interactive sessions at which faculty, doctoral students, and guest speakers have the opportunity to discuss current topics in education research. Its purpose is to enhance the culture of scholarship and collegiality within the Department and to provide informal guidance to doctoral students on research and career directions in education. All students are required to take the proseminar, which will be offered once per year, for a total of 3 credits (1 credit per seminar).
Research Methods Competencies
TAL 710: Introduction To Research In Education
This course focuses on diverse philosophies and epistemologies of research and the scientific enterprise, and the various methodologies that arise from these to conduct research in education. Students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for complementary yet unique educational research traditions brought to bear on substantive local, national, and international educational issues to be able to participate meaningfully and critically in multiple discourse communities that employ and/or produce educational research.
Research courses offered by Department of Education and Psychological Studies (EPS). Course Bulletin for course descriptions.
- EPS 553: Introduction to Statistics
- EPS 650: Meta-analysis
- EPS 660: Generalized Linear Model (every other year if this new course is approved)
- EPS 661: Measurement and Psychometric Theory
- EPS 662: Item Response Theory
- EPS 670: Introduction to Research Methods
- EPS 671: General Linear Modeling
- EPS 672: Applied Multivariate Statistics (every other year)
- EPS 673: Introduction to Structural Equation Models
- EPS 674: An Introduction to Multilevel Modeling (every other year)
- EPS 675: Qualitative Research Methods I
- EPS 676: Qualitative Research Methods II
- EPS 690: Advanced Topics in RME
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION
TO THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN TEACHING AND LEARNING
The following factors are considered when selecting doctoral students for admission:
- At a minimum, completion of a bachelor’s degree with an outstanding record from an accredited institution.
- Acceptable and recent (within 5 years) Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. The target minimum is a score of 1100 combined on verbal and quantitative (or 302 on new GRE scoring system) and at least a 4.0 on writing.
- International applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Graduate Record Examination. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after test date.
- Professional experience relevant to degree program.
- Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale).
- Graduate grade point average of at least 3.5 (4.0 scale).
- Three letters of recommendation. At least two of the three letters of recommendation should include specific evaluation of the candidate’s potential to engage in scholarly research required for this program.
- The written statement of intent (in the UM online application) should describe how the candidate’s specific interests and obtaining a Ph.D. in this area of study fits into his/her career goals.
- Available student space in the program and someone willing to advise the student. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty in the Special Education area to inquire about the match between the applicant’s interests and the faculty’s areas of scholarly research.
- A personal or phone interview may be required. Applicants will be notified as appropriate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale) and graduate grade point average of at least 3.5 (4.0 scale)
- Students are required to file a Program of Study and a Course Sequence Plan prior to the end of the second semester of study, which are developed in collaboration with a faculty advisor and a supervisory committee.
- Your letters of recommendation should speak directly to your academic potential as a student in a demanding doctoral program who will be expected, over time, to assume increased responsibility for independent learning.
- Your statement of purpose should address how your career aspirations match our goals for program graduates.
- If you have any extraordinary accomplishments that we should know about, please submit them with your applications materials.