Dissertation Proposal Defense Announcement by Emily Ruiz

This event occurred in the past

Dissertation Proposal Defense Announcement by Emily Ruiz

This event occurred in the past

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    by Emily Ruiz



     Special education has been a part of our public school system for 46 years and has evolved considerably in that time. Despite improvements made in special education law, there remains a disconnect between the law and current practices. Several studies suggest this disconnect is associated with administrators’ insufficient preparation in how to support special education in their schools.
              This study is an attempt to fill the current gap in the literature surrounding administrator preparation in special education law and best practices. The study will focus on school administrators in San Diego County who will be surveyed and interviewed to determine their perceptions of the specific areas of strength and weakness in their preparation in special education. The following questions will guide the study: (a) What pre-service training did the administrators in the study receive in special education law, and how competent do they feel in terms of this training? (b) What aspects of special education do the participating administrators identify as areas of strengths and weaknesses in their preparation?
              The study will utilize an explanatory sequential design beginning with a quantitative phase during which surveys will be sent via email to school administrators who will be selected using a stratified random sampling strategy. The pool of participants will be stratified by school type as well as geographic location. The survey will be administered to 10 randomly selected school principals in each of nine stratification categories (n=90) to assess their preparation in relation to special education. The survey will conclude with a request to participate in a fifteen to twenty-minute interview conducted on the Zoom video conferencing platform.
              The interviews will constitute the second phase of the study. For this phase, purposeful stratified sampling will be used to identify 18 interviewees from those who volunteered to participate based on their likely ability to help explain the survey results.
              This study has the potential to shed light on needed areas of improvement for special education programs in San Diego County. It should also have heuristic value for other regions with similar demographics.

    Keywords: Special Education, Disability, Inclusion, Educational Equity, Administrator Preparation


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