The Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities (SPEMA) prepares students to serve as reflective decision makers in instructional settings for exceptional learners. The SPEMA faculty believe that a teacher preparation program should emphasize roles and responsibilities that integrate the strengths of learners, parents, general education teachers, special education teachers, related service professionals, and the community. A combination of learning opportunities that include a coordinated knowledge base, diverse school-based practicums, and internship experiences are designed to facilitate the development of logical, critical, and reflective thinking skills. These skills will enable students to synthesize information and conceptualize knowledge that prepare them as future educators to effectively plan, develop, problem solve, and implement programs for diverse learners.

Based on the fundamental belief that success is a function of the interaction between the individual and the environment, the over-arching goal of teacher education programs offered by the Program in Special Education and Multiple Abilities at The University of Alabama is the development, validation, and use of techniques for maximizing students’ (with and without exceptionalities) attainment of their full potential.

Department Head:  Dr. Nicole Swoszowski

Main Office:  201 Autherine Lucy Hall

Autism  Collaborative Special Education Early Childhood Special Education Gifted Multiple Abilities Program Severe




MASTER OF ARTS (Alternative Route)

The Alternative Master of Arts degree is aimed at students with an undergraduate degree in a non-teaching field who wish to gain an alternative A certificate which enables them to teach in the public schools.




Important Links


ProgramProgram CoordinatorsAdvisorsEmails
AutismDr. Laci
CollaborativeDr. Nicole
Collaborative, MASharron
Collaborative, EDSDr. Lucy
Early Childhood Special EducationDr. Ragan
GiftedDr. Jennifer
Severe DisabilitiesDr. Kagendo
Doctoral ProgramsDr. Nicole


Dr. Lucy Barnard-Brak

Professor, Autism

Dr. Greg Benner

Helen and Pat O’Sullivan Professor of Special Education, Implementation Science

Lisa Burgess

Instructor, MAP

Dr. Carol Donovan

Professor, Literacy Education & MAP

Dr. Marissa Filderman

Assistant Professor, Collaborative Special Education

Dr. Olivia Hester

Clinical Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Kristine Jolivette

Paul & Mary Harmon Bryant Professor of Special Education

Dr. Jennifer Jolly

Professor, Gifted Education

Dr. Kristen Lamb

Assistant Professor, Gifted Education

Dr. Erica Ogle Lee

Clinical Research Assistant Professor, Whole Child

Sharon Maughn

Instructor, MAP

Dr. Sara McDaniel

Professor, Collaborative Special Education

Sylvie McDonald

Instructor, Special Education

Dr. Ragan McLeod

Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education

Dr. Robin McWilliam

Professor, Early Childhood Special Education

Dr. Elizabeth Michael

Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education

Dr. Kagendo Mutua

Professor, Severe and Profound Disabilities

Dr. John Myrick

Clinical Assistant Professor, Collaborative Special Education

Dr. Kimberly Odom

Clinical Assistant Research Professor, SPEMA

Dr. Courtney O'Grady

Assistant Professor, Early Childhood & Early Intervention

Dr. Sara Sanders

Assistant Research Professor, SPEMA

Dr. Carol Schlichter

Professor Emerita, MAP

Dr. Nicole Swoszowski

Department Head and Professor, Multiple Abilities Program

Dr. Kimberly Tomeny

Clinical Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Special Education

Dr. Laci Watkins

Assistant Professor, Autism

Tamela Wilson

Program Assistant, SPEMA