Associate Professor of Special Education Jade Wexler has been named the inaugural recipient of the University of Maryland College of Education’s Dean’s Impact Professorship for her impactful research and scholarship.
Wexler’s research is focused on improving literacy outcomes for students with learning disabilities. She is widely recognized for developing evidence-based reading interventions that can be integrated into middle and high school content-areas, i.e. English language arts, social studies, and science instruction. These interventions have been critical in accelerating students’ reading growth, since students with disabilities spend the majority of the school day in general education classrooms. Wexler has also developed intensive reading interventions for students who need additional support and professional development models for teachers and other instructional leaders, which help support the implementation of evidence-based literacy practices.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by the dean for the impact my research has made, and continues to make, in the classroom,” said Wexler. “I’ve spent the past 20 years deeply committed to this work, the success of which could not have occurred without the strength and dedication of my incredible team and school partners. I am excited that my research will be further supported by this professorship.”
The Dean’s Impact Professorship celebrates faculty excellence and engagement in scholarship that has a direct impact on and addresses grand challenges in education, human development and growth and wellbeing. Faculty awarded the professorship serve a three year term and receive an annual stipend of $20,000 to support their research, professional development, or intervention and translation work.
"Our faculty are innovators, leading the way in education research and practice. The Dean's Impact Professorship reflects our commitment to building stronger connections between the two, celebrating how our work advances learning, wellbeing, equity and social justice,” said Kimberly Griffin, dean of the College of Education. “Professor Wexler's work exemplifies our values as a College and community, and contributes greatly to our efforts to ensure academic achievement for all students."
Wexler’s work in adolescent literacy and professional development has most recently led to the development of AIM Coaching, an adaptive intervention coaching model that provides guidance to middle school literacy coaches and other instructional leaders on how to use data to differentiate the type of support offered to teachers as they implement evidence-based literacy practices school-wide. With two active grants, totaling $3 million, from the U.S. Department of Education, she is currently refining and evaluating AIM Coaching in middle schools in the D.C. metro area and studying the efficacy, feasibility, social validity and sustainability of this model.
Wexler believes that “AIM coaching will lead to the implementation of sustainable school-wide literacy models that will more efficiently meet the reading needs of students with disabilities.”
Wexler has published three books focused on adolescent literacy, authored over 55 peer reviewed journal articles, and has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on federal grants totaling about $8 million.