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Mission and Goals


Student giving a young girl with disability a piggyback ride.

Establish and maintain national leadership in research and scholarship in disability related fields including special education, applied behavior analysis with individuals with disabilities, rehabilitation counseling and disability studies

  1. Conduct research pertinent to the education and treatment of children and adults with disabilities.
  2. Develop new methodologies to empirically evaluate teacher preparation programs.
  3. Obtain extramural funding to support research, training innovation and technology in special education.
  4. Disseminate knowledge via professional publications in refereed journals, books and other appropriate professional information outlets.
  5. Provide leadership in the disciplines of special education and rehabilitation through positions on editorial boards, editorships, as journal reviewers, and as board members for professional organizations.
  6. Provide leadership for national and state agencies that fund research and innovation by serving on policy groups, task forces, and as panelists for grant applications.


Establish and maintain national leadership in the preparation of special educators and rehabilitation counselors

  1. Increase the quantity and quality of bachelor's level professionals in special education through programs that are built on a foundation of research.
  2. Increase the quantity and quality of master’s level leaders in special education and rehabilitation counseling through programs that are built on a foundation of research.
  3. Increase the quantity and quality of national leaders at the doctoral level in a broad array of disability disciplines including, but not limited to, special education, rehabilitation counseling, applied behavior analysis with individuals with disabilities, and disability studies.
  4. Develop innovative centers for students and adults with disabilities which can serve as national models.
  5. Develop special education teacher licensing and emphasis area programs to address Utah's public education personnel needs and shortages.
  6. Develop special programs in rehabilitation counseling to address personnel needs and shortages in Utah, the intermountain region and nationally.


Serve individuals with disabilities through community service programs, technical assistance, advocacy, public education, and policy development

  1. Increase awareness, among USU students and the general public, of individuals with disabilities in American society. Increase awareness of their civil rights, the services available for these individuals, and their contributions to our society.
  2. Provide professional training in special education and rehabilitation counseling for general educators and individuals from other allied professions such as elementary and secondary education, psychology, health, communicative disorders, and deaf education.
  3. Provide technical assistance, consultation, or other professional services to school districts, rehabilitation programs, and state or national agencies or committees that determine policies that effect individuals with disabilities.
  4. Provide advocacy and consultation to state and federal policy makers regarding laws and regulations that affect persons with disabilities.
  5. Develop model demonstration education programs that offer research, training, and service opportunities working with individuals with disabilities.