Institute for the Study of Exceptional Children and Youth (ISECY)

Ed.D in Special Education Leadership (Germany & Belgium)

Special Education Leadership
The influence of special education administrators cannot be over emphasized (National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), 2018; Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom, 2004). These professionals ensure students are appropriately referred for special education and that every student with a disability receives services which are appropriately individualized (Crockett, Billingsley, & Boscardin, 2019). They also oversee and evaluate the implementation of evidence-based instructional programs to ensure that State and local agencies are meeting the needs of students with disabilities. In addition, they ensure school systems meet special education requirements at the local, state, and Federal levels (Boscardin, 2007; Lashley & Boscardin, 2003). To realize the promise of a free, appropriate education for our Nation’s children with disabilities, highly skilled and well-informed leaders who can assume such leadership roles in schools, state agencies and government are critically needed.


The ISECY in the Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education Department (UMD) is offering an EdD in Special Education Leadership to increase the number and capacity of leaders of special education services. This Ed.D. prepares our future leaders in the following areas: (1) Leadership and Management skills in Special Education including professional development and supervision; (2) Oversight and evaluation of evidence-based instruction, to ensure positive learning outcomes; (3) Policy issues in Special Education; (4) Methods to build positive partnerships with families of students with disabilities to ensure high expectations for students; and (5) Data-based evaluations and research skills.

The EdD is offered through a cohort as a part-time degree program that culminates in five (5) years in a dissertation on a topic of the candidate’s interest and with the support of their advisor. 

The current cohort is located in Brussels/Germany and consists of special education teachers, related service professionals, principals, and special education administrators employed by the Department of Defense Dependent School System (DoDDS).

Visit the program page for more information*

NOTE: *We are not currently recruiting for this Ed.D.