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; in 2011, she was the recipient of Pitzer College’s Distinguished Alumni Award; and in 2009 received the University of Washington's College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award. Deb has directed many federal, state, and local projects and has received over $40.5 million in external 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 H325E120002). 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 to improve results of all children and youth who struggle to learn, particularly those with disabilities. In part due to the efforts conducted through IRIS@CGU over 84% of all colleges and universities with approved special education teacher preparation programs use IRIS resources in their curriculum. Since 2013, the Center has had over 3 million users of its Website; those users average over 10 content pages during each visit and remain actively engaged with the resources for almost an average of 17 minutes per visit.
From 2007-2011, 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 because of a special education faculty shortage.
In addition to the 12 major textbooks published, two additional texts are in production with one to be released in 2016 and the other in 2017. Her texts include: Contemporary Special Education: New Horizons (an interactive e-text released by Pearson Publishing in April of 2013); Introduction to Special Education: Making a Difference, which is in its 7th edition, and is available in Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese); and Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Classrooms. 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.