Exceptional Learning Ph.D. Program
College of Education


ELPHD Alumnus Receives 2014 School of Education Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Duquesne University

About the Ph.D. in Exceptional Learning

The program focuses on the characteristics, strengths, and educational needs of individuals and groups whose learning potential and opportunities for success are frequently unrealized.

Information & Assistance
Denette Way
College of Education
Exceptional Learning Ph.D.
Tennessee Tech University
Box 5116
Cookeville, TN 38505
Ph: 931-372-3177
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Exceptional Learning Ph.D.
Handbook 2013-2014
  • Exceptional and at-risk populations include people for whom social, economic, and physical characteristics may serve as a barrier to development and learning. 
  • The Ph.D. in Exceptional Learning prepares leaders to work in schools, agencies, and universities to effect positive change in populations of diverse and at-risk learners, addressing social, economic, and physical characteristics that may serve as barriers to learning, primarily through research and service activities. 

Ph.D. Core Studies: Program Concentrations & Research

  • The program core develops an understanding of the characteristics of these populations. 
  • The research core provides a strong emphasis on research techniques and applications. 
  • Four concentrations allow you to focus on specific interests:
    • Applied Behavior Analysis prepares professionals who can develop and deliver behavioral interventions and supports for individuals within educational and habilitative settings. There are two strands with ABA: one focused on young children and their families (YCF) and one focused on school-aged children and adult populations (ABAS). (Concentration leader – Dr. Jane Baker)ELPHD photo9_wb
    • Literacy empowers educational innovators to develop cutting-edge, socially conscious approaches to multi-literacies and challenge narrow conceptions of learners, families and world views. (Concentration leader – Dr. Deborah Setliff)
    • Program Planning and Evaluation prepares professionals for leadership roles in program evaluation and planning with an emphasis on statistical methods. (Concentration leader – Dr. Barry Stein)
    • STEM Education builds the capacity of innovative educational leaders to advance new ideas and to design/implement strategic innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. (Concentration leader – Dr. Holly Anthony)

Graduate Admission Requirements & Forms

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