Preparing Educators as Leaders

Adam Vaughn

PDS Intern
Primary office:


When I first began my studies in education, I already knew of which type of school I was interested in being placed--suburban. I have always felt myself to be better placed at a school with students, staff and parents with similar backgrounds as my own. However, because of my studies here at the University of Kansas, my idea of the perfect place to student teach has changed drastically. In the School of Education, I have learned that lower-income schools, particularly those in the urban setting, require a special type of person to be a guide to the students' learning.

As I have reflected on my past notions and current abilities, I feel like I would be an excellent candidate for the PDS program because of my passion for student success. I want to be an advocate for all students, regardless of background, and guide them to his or her fullest potential. By having the experience from working in a PDS site, I will have gained valuable skills and knowledge required to be an excellent teacher, so that I may continue to utilize these skills on the many lives I will touch throughout my teaching career.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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