This project, funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, uses a leadership-preparation model to arm doctoral scholars with the skills and knowledge to narrow the gap between research and practice.

The objectives of this project include the following: (a) recruit, admit, and retain highly qualified candidates using deliberate and effective strategies to recruit students from culturally and linguistically diverse populations and individuals with disabilities; (b) ensure that scholars are knowledgeable of and can implement evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities; (c) conduct formative and summative evaluation of the project and the research-to-practice leadership model; and (d) disseminate and institutionalize the program and model.

Five doctoral scholars have been accepted into this grant-funded project to pursue a doctorate in special education with an emphasis on learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders. Doctoral scholars participate in a program plan that includes coursework and professional experiences in five inter-linking areas: school-based research, teacher preparation and professional development, technology application, diversity, and system change and policy analysis. The Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin has an internationally prominent and diverse faculty that shares a common interest in analyzing issues related to translating research to practice in our increasingly diverse schools. To that end, the doctoral scholars are engaged in collaborative school district experiences that emphasize mutually beneficial research-to-practice strategies on the issue of multitiered support systems and conduct school-based research in areas such as reading and mathematics. This project will enable doctoral scholars, with their faculty advisers, to implement, evaluate, and disseminate research.

We currently have allocated all resources for funding from this grant at this time; however, other sources of funding are available for the PhD program in the Department of Special Education.