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CONE Competencies

Teaching and Supervision

Doctoral students are expected to be effective college teachers. Typically, doctoral candidates take a course, then assist in that course (frequently giving two to three lectures). Then, the doctoral candidate enrolls in SPLED 602 and takes major responsibility for teaching that course. This sequence allows the student to become familiar with the content and structure of the course before taking over major responsibilities. Students are provided with guidance and feedback by the professor in charge of the course throughout the entire process. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to deliver guest lectures in other classes. Along with college teaching, doctoral students will have opportunities to supervise undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in student teaching or other practicum experiences. Faculty work closely with doctoral students during supervision to develop supervisory competency.


A variety of closely supervised writing experiences, using feedback systems common to professional publishing, are also part of the program. Students learn to write and submit grant proposals and several kinds of scholarly papers (including literature reviews and data- based studies). Because of these experiences, students are amply prepared to complete their dissertations and have at least one published manuscript before graduation. Furthermore, as a result of the grant writing experience, many students have received funding to conduct their dissertation research.


With faculty guidance and support, students design and conduct inservice training, submit proposals for presenting at state and national conferences, and provide consultation to local and state agencies. Because most of our faculty are on the editorial boards of major special education journals, students also have opportunities to review manuscripts submitted to these journals.


All students will be able to attend faculty meetings at the departmental, college, and university levels. These experiences allow students to see first-hand the types of decision making processes taking place in higher education. Additionally, doctoral students take part in interviewing new special education faculty and learn what it will be like when they seek their first college position.


A variety of other skills are included as part of the CONE program. While these skills do not fall under areas typically included in promotion and tenure guidelines, they are nonetheless important. Topics include interviewing for jobs, vita preparation, academic freedom, professional ethics (especially when working with students), negotiating publishing contracts, and working with support staff. The majority of these topics are covered in the context of a professional seminar.