Multicultural Special Education

Two women work on a puzzle during a workshop on multicultural special education

Photo of Audrey Sorrells

Area Coordinator
Audrey Sorrells

The Department of Special Education offers a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree with a concentration in Multicultural Special Education (MCSE). This concentration is designed to prepare doctoral students for careers in higher education, as leaders in schools and districts, and as further researchers and critical thought leaders in multicultural special education.

The Multicultural Special Education concentration addresses the unique needs of individuals with disabilities and their families from diverse socio-cultural and linguistic communities. Under the direction of expert faculty in the department, Ph.D. students will have the opportunity to develop competencies in research in disproportionality and representation in special education of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and in research-based culturally responsive practice. Students are prepared to exhibit leadership, and develop programs, services, and policies that improve the outcomes of students with disabilities within diverse communities.  

In addition, students are encouraged to specialize in a disability or policy area. This program focuses on ensuring that children of diverse backgrounds have equal opportunities for special education and interventions.

Affiliated Faculty

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North Cooc, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Explores how family background, culture, and school contextual factors influence decisions and trajectory outcomes within special education.

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Soyoung Park

Assistant Professor

Uses qualitative research methods to identify and support students of English learner designation who require special education.

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James Patton, Ed.D.

Adjunct Associate Professor

Focuses on adults with disabilities and their participation in higher education, study skills, instruction, and interaction with the criminal justice system.

Photo of Audrey Sorrels

Audrey Sorrells, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of Students for Research, Associate Professor

Explores topics in ethnically diverse students with disabilities, Veteran students with resulting trauma issues, and professional development for disabled students.