Special Education | Lifespan Development & Educational Sciences Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Special Education

Kent State's Special Education program is comprised of Faculty from several specialty areas (e.g., autism, deaf education, developmental disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, infants and toddlers, learning disabilities, transition) and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in addition to initial and secondary licenses, endorsements, and certificates. Special Education Faculty prepare personnel to work with children and students from birth through adulthood. Graduates of the Special Education program are highly qualified to work with a variety of professionals and a variety of settings including, but not limited to: schools, hospitals, child care centers, homes, residential facilities, county board agencies, businesses, and center-based schools.

The overall mission of the Special Education program is to improve the lives of individuals with exceptionalities, their families, and the professionals who work with them. Faculty work toward meeting our mission by preparing highly competent educators, service providers, researchers, and leaders. We believe that conducting and using research will inform and improve the programs and services available and it is imperative that we provide leadership for, and advocacy of, the discipline and its stakeholders.

In general, expectations for pre-tenured Faculty center on establishing one or more lines of research, gaining confidence in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and becoming a productive and supportive citizen through service to the program, school, college, university, community, and/or the profession. Expectations for post-tenured Faculty center on leadership in the larger context of the special education and related fields, maintaining an ongoing line(s) of research, continuing to document effective teaching and mentoring of pre-tenured Faculty and students, as well as continuing to contribute to the program, school, college, university, community, and profession. Regardless of rank or years in service, all Faculty are evaluated in terms of their research, teaching, and service.

We expect Faculty (pre-tenured and tenured) to actively seek the support (e.g., funds, equipment, software, datasets, personnel) needed to conduct their research, teach, and to serve the special education program. Examples of acceptable ways for Faculty to support their research, teaching or service activities include participation in competitive grants/contracts, expert consultations, and/or collaborative projects with other institutions, agencies, or schools. We encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary work across Faculty and institutions and where possible, include opportunities for support and mentorship of students. For promotion to full professor, we expect Faculty to maintain productive trajectories in extramural support.

  1. Research

    We expect Faculty to conduct an on-going line(s) of inquiry through applied, experimental, and/or theoretical research using any combination of accepted research methodologies and analyses as appropriate to the research question (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, single subject, economic analyses, mixed-method). We expect research to be disseminated through peer-reviewed and other outlets (e.g., journals, book chapters, texts, presentations/meetings, grant applications, academic/training materials). The work of the Faculty may be disseminated through a variety of formats (e.g., print, virtual, electronic, multi-media). We expect research efforts to be ongoing and have one or more major themes.

    1. Publications

      For tenure and promotion to associate professor, we generally expect eight quality publications. Of the eight, a minimum of six must be in refereed journals where the candidate made substantial, meaningful contributions (both to the product and to the field) as documented in their contextual statement. Because we respect and value a variety of publications, the remaining required publications could include different types of dissemination outlets (e.g. Invited works, chapters, monographs, books, reports, white papers). In special education, publications are often collaborative endeavors and are frequently used to disseminate research knowledge to a broad audience of stakeholders/consumers (e.g., teacher educators, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, families). However, in the case of collaborative efforts, for promotion it is important that the candidate demonstrate a leadership role in the majority of publications as documented in their contextual statement.

      For promotion to full professor, we expect Faculty to maintain productive trajectories in publishing their work and that the work has evidence of making a substantial contribution to the field that is nationally and/or internationally recognized.  In addition, Faculty are expected to be positively reviewed for this rank by non-affiliated peers who hold rank.

      For tenure, promotion to associate, and promotion to full, we consider the quality of each publication and its significance for the field of special education and/or related fields. Faculty is expected to use their contextual statement to clearly articulate the merits of each publication. We evaluate the quality and significance of a publication based on a number of factors including, but not limited to:

      • contribution to the field (e.g., original research; applied research; research synthesis; conceptual contribution)
      • journal or publisher characteristics (e.g., prominence in the field; readership/circulation; affiliation with professional organizations; appropriateness to topic/focus; acceptance rates of journal, impact factor)
      • candidate's role/contribution (e.g., candidate's role in publishing the manuscript; collaboration with other KSU Faculty, scholars in the field, students, and/or scholars in related disciplines)

      In accordance with the significance we place on a variety of ways to impact the field and the wide range of stakeholders who are consumers of our research, we value many types of peer-reviewed journals as outlets for Faculty work. Specifically, we value journals (and other types of peer-reviewed outlets such as books and book chapters) that focus on one or more of the following areas: research; dissemination of knowledge to practitioners; specific disabilities or specific issues in special education; cross-disciplinary and/or related field issues, scholarship of teaching and learning; and/or issues related to policy. The following is an alphabetical listing of examples of peer-reviewed journals and their foci. This list is not meant to be inclusive, but instead, to provide primary examples of the types of journals we value in special education.

    2. Areas of Focus (Key)

      R = Research

      P = Practitioners

      SD/I = Specific Disability or Issue

      SoTL = Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

      Pol = Policy

      APO = Association with a Professional Organization

    3. Sample List of Journals

      American Annals of the Deaf (R, P, SD/I, SoTL)

      American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (R, APO, Pol)

      American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (R, P, APO)

      Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice (R, P, Pol)

      Behavioral Disorders (R, SD/I, APO)

      Career Development for Exceptional Individuals (R, P, Pol)

      Deafness and Education International (R, P, SD/I)

      Early Childhood Education Journal (R, P)

      Early Childhood Research Quarterly (R)

      Exceptional Children (R, APO, SD/I)

      Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (P, SDI)

      Intervention in School and Clinic (P)

      Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (R, SD/I)

      Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling (R, P)

      Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (R, SD/I)

      Journal of Child and Family Studies (R, SD/I)

      Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (R, P, SD/I)

      Journal of Disability Policy Studies (R, Pol)

      Journal of Early Intervention (R, APO)

      Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (R, SD/I)

      Journal of Learning Disabilities (R, SD/I, APO)

      Journal of Positive Behavior Supports (R, SD/I, P)

      Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (R, Pol, APO)

      Journal of Special Education (R)

      Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation (R, APO, P, Pol)

      Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (P, R, APO)

      Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal (R, SD/I, P)

      Odyssey (P) Remedial and Special Education (R)

      Sign Language Studies (R, P, SD/I)

      Teacher Education and Special Education (R, SoTL, APO)

      Teaching Exceptional Children (P, APO)

      Teaching Young Exceptional Children (P, APO)

      Topics in Early Childhood Special Education (R)

      WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation (R, P)

      Young Children (P, APO)

    4. Presentations

      We expect Faculty to disseminate their research to the community and field through local, state, and national/international presentations. In order to be promoted and tenured, Faculty are expected to participate in a minimum of five peer-reviewed presentations and/or invited presentations (e.g., keynote address, panel discussion, featured speaker) of national/international significance (e.g., conferences of national organizations, briefings to legislators, webinars). For promotion to full professor, we expect Faculty to maintain productive trajectories in presentations and that the work has evidence of making a substantial contribution to the field that is nationally and/or internationally recognized.