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Portrait of Ellen Spencer

Ellen Spencer, Ed.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Education,
MAE Program Director

Educational Background

Teaching Endorsement

Special Education/Strategist I Endorsement

Clarke University

Dubuque, Iowa

August 2016


Doctor of Education

Curriculum and Instruction

Northcentral University

Prescott, AZ

July 2015


Master of Arts in Education

Educational Leadership

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

July 2004


Bachelor of Arts in Education

Elementary Education with Spanish Endorsement

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, Iowa

May 1996


Bachelor of Arts in Business

Marketing and Management

Loras College

Dubuque, Iowa


Teaching Philosophy

I want to honor each student right where they are and help them move forward in their development as a person. One way I do this is through discovery. Learning through discovery is the essence of meaningful retention and understanding of any concept.

‘Teach without seeming to teach.’ ~ Mary Frances Clarke

Ellen Spencer


Professional Background

Prior to my career in higher education I taught grades 3rd through 8th in both Iowa and Florida.

Research Interests

Special Education: Autism, behavior, and mental health

Courses Taught

  • EDSP 200: Foundations of Special Education
  • EDSP 301: Strategic Academic Learning
  • EDSP 400: Spec Education Practicum
  • EDSP 401: Prevention and Remediation of Challenging Behaviors
  • EDSP 402: Collaborative Solutions

Certifications and Memberships

  • AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education)
  • ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)
  • ASTE (Association for Science Teacher Education)
  • CEC (Counsel for Exceptional Children)
  • IACTE (Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education)
  • ISMTE (Iowa Science and Mathematics Teacher Educators)
  • NAPDS (National Association for Professional Development Schools)
  • NCEA (National Catholic Education Association)
  • NSTA (National Science and Technology Association)