EdD, University of Washington
MEd, University of Missouri–Columbia
Teacher Education, California State University–Northridge
BA, Pitzer College
Deborah Deutsch Smith, professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), received the Pearson/International Council for Exceptional Children 2015 Excellence in Teacher Education Award.In 2012 she became a fellow in the International Association for Research in Learning Disabilities. She is the recipient of two distinguished alumni awards: one from Pitzer College and the other from the University of Washington's College of Education. Since 1983, Deb has served on the Board of Trustees for Pitzer College, Claremont Colleges and was recognized as a Life Trustee in 2003.
Dr. Smith has directed many federal, state, and local projects and has received over $40.6 million in external funding to support those efforts. She is currently Co-Director of the IRIS Center for Coursework and Training Resources (U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs [OSEP]; Project Number H325E120002); Website: www.iriscenter.com. The IRIS Center is charged with providing the nation’s college faculty, professional development providers, and independent learners with interactive modules and other training materials about effective practices that improve results of all children and youth who struggle to learn, particularly those with disabilities. In 2015 alone: over 84% of all colleges and universities with approved special education teacher preparation programs used IRIS resources in their curriculum; 1.4 million visitors used the Center’s Website with an average duration of 17 minutes, accessing over 10 content pages during each visit.
The Center’s resources also have considerable international use as indicated by visitors from 225 of the 230 countries reported by Google Analytics. Also in 2015, the IRIS Center was invited to be included in a new initiative sponsored by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and UNESCO: Inclusive Education in Action: Empowering Teachers: Empowering Learners. Descriptions and illustrations of IRIS resources can be accessed at: http://www.inclusive-education-in-action.org/example-101.html. The IRIS Center is one of only two U.S.-based centers featured in this collection.
She has authored 17 textbooks. Contemporary Special Education: New Horizons 2e is in press and will be released by Pearson Publishing in January of 2017.The popular Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference is in its 7th edition and is available in Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. In 2016, Sage published its first edition of Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Classrooms. She has written over 31 chapters and book supplements, 60 refereed articles and reports, as well as many instructional materials for children.
From 2007-2011, Dr. Smith served as the principal investigator of Special Education Faculty Needs Assessment (SEFNA) project, which was a follow-up and expansion of her 2001 Vanderbilt Faculty Shortage Study. The four-year study funded by OSEP to CGU determined that the nation does not have the capacity to prepare a sufficient number of new, highly effective teachers to work with students with disabilities because of a special education faculty shortage.