Preparing Educators as Leaders

Mikaela Klos

PDS Intern
Primary office:


I grew up in a town of only 800 people, went to kindergarten with 13 students in the one class at the school, and graduated high school from the county school with 18 students total. I have only experienced school with limited amounts of students and a large amount of excellent teachers. Now, I would like to experience a school that is much different than that of what I know, like the PDS schools in this program. I believe it is very important for me to step further outside of my small town schooling experiences and learn what it is like to teach in a school like those in the PDS program.

If I would like to become a great teacher, I need to have great experiences in teaching. I think the PDS program will challenge me to become a better teacher and to learn methods of teaching and classroom management that I would never be able to learn in a school that was like that of where I went to elementary school. Even if I do not end up teaching in a school like those in the PDS program, this experience will give me skills that will help me to create a classroom that will allow my students to learn in the best ways they can. This is an experience that will help in all aspects of my life and I would like to work harder to receive the benefits and lessons this experience could give.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
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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.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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