EdD, University of Washington
MEd, University of Missouri–Columbia
Teacher Education, California State University–Northridge
BA, Pitzer College
Deb Deutsch Smith, professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), was honored in 2012 when she became a fellow in the International Association for Research in Learning Disabilities. In 2011, she was recipient of Pitzer College’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2009 recipient of the University of Washington's College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award.
Dr. Smith has directed many federal, state, and local projects and has received over $41.5 million in funding to support those efforts. She is currently co-Principal Investigator of the new IRIS Center for Coursework and Training Resources (U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs [OSEP]; Project Number H325E12002). This five-year project, which began in January of 2013, is an expansion of its predecessors, charged with providing the nation’s college faculty, professional development providers, and independent learners with interactive modules and other training materials about effective practices to improve results of students with disabilities. The center now extends its focus to all children and youth (ages birth to 21) receiving services through IDEA. The center will provide new, more comprehensive resources and services that center on effective and research-based strategies for use in initial licensure of general and special educators, induction events, and professional development activities. The purpose is to upgrade the knowledge and skills of all education professionals as they work to improve the results of children and youth with disabilities so they are college- or career ready upon graduation from high school. IRIS materials are available at no cost through Center’s the barrier free Web site: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu or www.iriscenter.com. IRIS@CGU is the national outreach arm of The IRIS Center, providing dissemination, technical assistance and training services to faculty and professional development providers.
Through 2011, Dr. Smith served as the principal investigator of Special Education Faculty Needs Assessment (SEFNA) project. 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. It also found that the nation is facing an unprecedented rate of special education faculty attrition in the upcoming five years at a rate of 20% nationally. Doctoral programs that produce the next generation of college faculty and research will experience and even greater turnover, losing up to 2/3 of their special education faculty due to retirement alone. The complete final report and various summaries are available at www.cgu.edu/sefna.
For 12 years, she directed the highly successful Alliance Project, a national technical assistance effort funded by OSEP to help faculty working at special education and related services personnel preparation programs housed at minority colleges and universities (e.g., Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Historically Hispanic Serving Universities, Universities Serving Predominately Asian/Pacific Islanders, Tribal Colleges, and other minorities institutions). The main purpose of that effort was to help these faculty members obtain external funding to support college students preparing to work with students with disabilities in school settings. The Alliance Project far exceeded its goals with these institutions of higher education far surpassing their representation among colleges and universities across the nation.
Dr. Smith has authored 12 major textbooks, including the first interactive introduction to special education e-text, Contemporary Special Education: New Horizons, released by Pearson Publishing in April of 2013. In addition, she authored the best selling introduction to special education text, Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference, which is in its 7th edition, and is available in Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. She has written over 31 chapters and book supplements, 60 refereed articles and report, as well as many instructional materials for children. Since 1984, Deb has served on the Board of Trustees for Pitzer College, Claremont Colleges, and was recognized as a Life Trustee in 2003.
Response to Intervention and Multi-tiered Instruction
“How People Learn” (HPL) Theory
Learning outcomes of college students through instructional technology