Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela H. Scott

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, Eric S. Glover, Cecil N. Blankenship


This qualitative case study examined how special educators perceived their professional growth as a result of engagement in a collaborative process. Sixteen special educators participated in the research. Triangulation was attained through the use of document review, a focus group, and personal interviews. The 15 themes and patterns that emerged from data collection were: (a) increased expertise and use of technology, (b) exhibited collaborative skills and improved interpersonal relationships, (c) developed increased understanding of curriculum, (d) presented evidence of increased job satisfaction, (e) demonstrated analytical abilities, (f) illustrated enhancement in professional and creative expression, (g) understood the special education supervisor‟s role, (h) awareness of the expertise of others, (i) increased respect from school professionals, (j) increased knowledge of current research, (k) leadership skills, (l) enhanced time management and organizational skills, (m) established consistency within the special education department, (n) developed diverse thinking, and (o) developed self-evaluation skills and empowerment. I concluded that while professional skills increased, a noticeable increase in morale, job satisfaction, empowerment, and self-confidence was observed. This case study could be of interest to school administrators in planning professional development, assessing how present staff development correlates with the collaborative process, and determining if modifications should be made.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.