Learning Disabilities & Behavioral Disorders

The Department of Special Education offers a doctoral degree in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders (LD/BD). Students in this concentration earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with substantial coursework in the area of mild/moderate disabilities, particularly LD/BD. In addition to focusing on LD/BD, students have the opportunity to explore courses in at least two other areas of Special Education, research methods, professional coursework, and courses outside the department of Special Education. Students are encouraged to become involved in research projects under the direction of faculty in the Department of Special Education. Students generally complete the doctoral degree in four years of full-time study. The doctorate in Special Education prepares graduates to work in a variety of settings including higher education, leadership roles in schools and districts, and research.

Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D. (Area Coordinator) Sarah Powell, Ph.D.
Marcia Barnes, Ph.D. Nathan Clemens, Ph.D.
Chris Doabler, Ph.D. Jessica Toste, Ph.D.
Diane Pedrotty Bryant, Ph.D.  

In the Spotlight

Photo of Sharon Vaughn

A Better Read on Literacy Myths

Sharon Vaughn is a nationally acclaimed literacy expert, executive director for the College of Education’s Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk and recipient of more than $51 million in external research funding.

Photo of Sarah Powell

Dr. Sarah Powell on Learning Disabilities

Recent studies suggest that between 5 and 9 percent of school age children struggle with some form of math learning disability. Sometimes called “dyscalculia,” difficulty with mathematics encompasses a range of symptoms, including trouble understanding and manipulating numbers, and learning mathematic facts.