University of Vermont

Faculty Biography

Faculty Biography | Katharine Shepherd

Katharine Shepherd

Katharine Shepherd, Ed.D.Professor

Contact Information:
499B Waterman Building
(802) 656-1348

Katharine Shepherd, Ed.D., is a Green and Gold Professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, where she teaches courses in collaborative consultation, special education assessment, research methods, and systems of services for individuals with disabilities and their families. She is the Co-PI of a five-year, federally-funded grant supporting future leaders in special education, and a three-year grant from the Spencer Foundation. Her research interests include collaboration among schools and families, transition processes for youth with disabilities and their families, and state and school wide implementation of inclusive policies and practices, including Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Dr. Shepherd is President of the Higher Education Consortium of Special Education (HECSE). Selected research outlets include Exceptional Children, TEACHING Exceptional Children, Journal of Disability Policy Studies, and Rural Special Education Quarterly.

Areas of Expertise:

Assessment and Evaluation; Collaboration; Educational Policy; Family Studies; Leadership; Reading Education and Literacy; Research Methods; Response to Intervention (RTI); Social Justice; Special Education; Teacher Education

  • Preparation of teachers and leaders in special education: President, Higher Education Consortium for Special Education (HECSE)

Current Projects:

Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI), National Institute on Leadership, Disability and Students Placed at Risk, Parents as Collaborative Leaders: Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities, Responsiveness to Instruction


Selected Publications

  • Shepherd, K. G., Kervick, C. T., & Salembier, G. (2015). Person-Centered Planning: Tools for Promoting Employment, Self-Direction and Independence Among Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Accepted for publication in Way leads on to way: Employment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Shepherd, K. G., & Kervick, C. T. (2015). Enhancing collaborative leadership among parents of children with disabilities: New directions for policy and practice. Journal of Disability Policy Studies. DOI: 10.1177/1044207315576081
  • Swindlehurst, K.A., Shepherd, K., & Salembier, G. (2014). Promises and challenges of schoolwide implementation of response to intervention (RtI): Principals' perspectives. Journal of Ethical Educational Leadership 1(11), 1-16.
  • Shepherd, K. G., Giangreco, M. F., & Cook, B. G. (2013). Increasing parental participation in the IEP process. In B. G. Cook & M. Tankersley (Eds.), Research-based practices in special education. Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Donovan, E., & Shepherd, K. G. (2013). Implementing multi-tiered systems of support in mathematics: Findings from two schools. Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, 2 (1), 1-15.
  • Donovan, E., & Shepherd, K. (2013). The implementation of multi-tiered systems of support for mathematics: Views from Vermont’s math professionals. Journal of Education Policy, Planning, and Administration, 3 (1), 90-106.
  • Cook, B. G., Shepherd, K., Cook, S. C., & Cook, L. (2012). Facilitating the effective implementation of evidence-based practices through teacher–parent collaboration. Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(3), 22-30.
  • Shepherd, K., & Salembier, G. (Fall, 2011). Improving schools through a response to intervention approach: A cross-case analysis of three rural schools. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 30 (3), 3 - 15.
  • Shepherd, K., & Salembier, G. (2010). Leading, learning, and literacy: Implementing a response to intervention approach in the Riverside elementary school. New England Reading Association Journal 46, (1), 38 – 49.
  • Shepherd, K. & Hasazi, S. (2009). Leading beyond labels: The role of the principal in leading through a social justice framework. In Transformative Leadership: Preparing Students for Global Social Justice. SUNY press.
  • Shepherd, K. & Hasazi, S. (2009). Leading beyond labels: The role of the principal in leading through a social justice framework. In Transformative Leadership: Preparing Students for Global Social Justice. SUNY press.
  • Shepherd, K.G., Hasazi, S.B., & Aiken, J. (2008). Preparing school leaders to build and sustain engagement with families and communities. In R. Papa (Ed.) The 2008 Yearbook of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, ProActive Publications.
  • Shepherd, K., & Salembier, G. (2007). Transition from school to adult life. In M. Giangreco and M.B. Doyle (Eds.), Quick guides to inclusion 3: Ideas for educating students with disabilities (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Paul Brookes.
  • Furney, K.S., & Hasazi. S.B. (2006). "Leading for social justice and inclusion: The role of school leaders." In L. Florian (Ed.) Sage Handbook of Special Education, Chapel Hill, NC: Sage Publications.
  • Furney, K.S., & Salembier, G. (2006). "Scan and Run: Reading to learn." New England Reading Association Journal, 42 (1), 40 - 44.
  • Shepherd, K. (2006). Supporting all students: The role of principals in expanding general education capacity through the use of response to intervention teams. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 19 (2), 30


  • Parents as Collaborative Leaders: Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities [$898,956] from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs: This five year, federally-funded grant supported development and field-testing of a curriculum and internship opportunities designed to increase leadership skills and experiences among parents of children with disabilities. The project was completed in 2010; however, the Parents as Collaborative Leaders curriculum is available and used frequently in parent organizations and schools. (2009-01-01)
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • MAPS for the future: Promoting cultural reciprocity, family engagement, and student-centered learning through a person centered planning approach [$3,994] from University of Vermont, College of Education and Social Services: MAPS for the Future adapted the Making Action Plans (MAPS) planning process for use with students with or at-risk of disabilities and their families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The process was used with three families of children ranging in ages from 5 to 18. Grant funding has concluded but several manuscripts are in process to document findings. (2013-03-01)
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • Transformative Leadership for Special Education Administrators [$934,000] from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs: This five year, federally-funded grant supports full-time doctoral level training for individuals pursuing careers in special education leadership. Recipients are awarded full tuition and a stipend. Students complete the required courses associated with the doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UVM, as well as courses and research opportunities in special education leadership. (2014-01-01)
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • Collaborative Data Use by Teacher Decision-making Teams to Support Instructional Interventions for Struggling Students [$299,430] from Spencer Foundation: This three year research project will explore data use among teachers participating in school-based teams responsible for identifying instruction and interventions for students not meeting standards. In particular, we are interested in teachers' data literacy and use of collaborative practices within data-based decision-making teams, as well as the organizational factors that support or inhibit this work. (2014-01-01)
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Courses Taught in the Last 5 Years

Assessment in Special Education; Collaborative Consultation; Issues Affecting Persons With Disabilties


  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from University of Vermont

Awards & Honors

  • Green and Gold Professor from University of Vermont, College of Education and Social Services: This inaugural endowed professorship in the College of Education and Social Services recognizes excellence in teaching, research and service in the area of special education. The appointment was made through the Office of the Provost based on a peer nomination process. (2014)
  • Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award from University of Vermont: The Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize faculty for excellent instruction. Areas considered for selection include: Excellence in instruction, capacity to animate students and engage them in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, innovation in teaching methods and/or curriculum development, demonstrated commitment to cultural diversity, ability to motivate and challenge students, and evidence of excellent advising. Awards are made annually at the Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor and Lecturer levels. (2013)

Professional Associations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)