Dena Slanda, Ph.D. is a Research Associate and faculty in the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida. She currently serves as the Education Doctoral Program (Ed.D.)
Advisor in Exceptional Student Education. She earned her undergraduate degree at George Mason University and both her Master’s degree and Doctorate in Exceptional Student Education from the University of Central Florida.
She is currently a Co- Principal Investigator or Project Coordinator for federal grants in excess of $9 million for personnel or leadership preparation and development from the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education.
Each of the grants are designed to attract, prepare, retain, and sustain high quality and highly credentialed educational leaders in the field of special education including administrators, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists and special education teachers. The most recent grants are focused on interdisciplinary preparation.
Additionally, Dr. Slanda serves as a Professor in Residence for a Teacher Quality Partnership project which is an innovative and collaborative program with the 9 th largest school district in the nation designed to develop teacher candidates in elementary education through a residency model with on-the-spot, job-embedded coaching in social emotional learning, culturally responsive practices, mathematics instruction, and disciplinary literacy.
Dr. Slanda is currently the President of the Florida Council of Exceptional Children, Past- President of the Florida Association of Teacher Educators, and Chair of the College of Community Innovation and Education Alumni Association. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Florida Association of Teacher Educators, an active member of various community advisory boards, and previously served as the Co-Convener of the Supporting High- Needs Population/Urban Initiatives Special Interest Group. She is involved in the Association of Teacher Educators and in the Southern Regional Association of Teacher Educators (SRATE). In February 2022, she was one of few selected to join ATE’s Dr. W. Robert Houston Leadership Academy an honor which carries a three-year commitment.
Dr. Slanda is a published author and has conducted over 80 presentations at international, national, regional, and state conferences focused on culturally proactive pedagogy and practices, equitable educational opportunities, inclusive practices, interdisciplinary collaboration, teacher and administrator/leadership preparation, intensive interventions, literacy, and multi-tiered systems of support. Her research has focused on the intersection of race and disability with particular attention to disproportionality of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education. She teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level using synchronous and asynchronous platforms in intervention, instruction, data-based decision making, and collaborative preparation. Her disciplinary-integrated course focused on multitiered systems of support includes the intentional collaboration and interdisciplinary preparation of special educators, school psychologists, and speech-language pathologists.
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