Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand, Charles

Second Reader

Karin Farrington


This thesis focuses on research related to the current state of the special education model and it includes qualitative and quantitative literature, as well as current challenges that exist in the industry today. It will specifically address the following question: Can the current special education service model be structured around strengths-based skilled positions vs. the current job descriptions/roles? This thesis includes research, opinions, and a conclusion to support the above question. The research that was conducted highlights significant challenges that exist today when it comes to hiring and maintaining adequate human resources to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of the current job positions that support special education students. Many organizations outside of the education industry have taken time and resources to evaluate how to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and strategic outcomes by building cultures that create positions within their organization based on skill sets. Other industries place employees in roles based on strengths, which results in incredible increases in employee engagement, productivity, and therefore stronger growth and outcomes. What if the education industry, specifically special education, made a change to align with this philosophy of strengths-based jobs and fulfillment of roles for the teachers, ultimately to benefit the students? The following research will address this topic directly, and its findings will lead readers to discover the impact both on special education students, as well as the staff who provide services for them, which in turn can help special education students.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis