Michael J. Kennedy

Associate Professor of Education


  • Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2011
  • M.Ed., University of Delaware, 2007
  • M.A., Michigan State University, 2004
  • B.A., Ithaca College, 1998

Biography:

Michael J. Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the Curry School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia.  He is the Program Coordinator for the special education program.  Before completing his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, he was a high school special education teacher for six years and an elementary level teacher for three years.  Kennedy's main area of research is the design, implementation, and experimental testing of multimedia-based interventions to support pre- and in-service teachers' knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practices.  He has designed and experimentally tested numerous multimedia products intended to support teacher and student outcomes.  Innovations include Content Acquisition Podcasts (CAPs), which are instructional vignettes intended to support teachers’ knowledge and readiness to implement evidence-based and high-leverage practices.  CAPs can also be used to support literacy and content related outcomes for students with high incidence disabilities.  Please visit www.VocabSupport.comwww.SpedIntro.com, and www.highleveragepractices.org to find free resources for teaching and learning.  In addition, Kennedy and two former doctoral students created the Classroom Teaching (CT) Scan (www.thectscan.com), which is a flexible tool used for observing teachers or teacher candidates and providing data-driven coaching and feedback.  The CT Scan is paired with CAPs to create a multimedia professional development process for teachers seeking a light-touch option for learning new evidence-based practices and implementing them with fidelity.  

Kennedy has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles; and, along with colleagues, received a 2018 doctoral level (Project SEEDS, see below) and 2019 masters level (Project VIDEO, see below) training grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education.  In 2019, Kennedy and two colleagues also received a 5-year 2.5 million dollar grant as part of OSEP's Stepping Up technology implementation competition (Project S4, see below).  He was an inaugural winner of the early career research and mentoring grant competition from the Institute for Education Sciences in 2013.  He is Co-Editor of Journal of Special Education Technology and a member of U.Va’s Faculty Senate.  Kennedy won U.Va’s Alumni Board of Trustees Award for excellence in university teaching in 2015. 

Funded Grant Activity


Special Education Teachers for the Future (SEEDS)

A Ph.D. Program in Special Education Available at the University of Virginia

Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Have you been a special education teacher (or closely related) for at least 3 years and ‘looking to do more’ as a professional in the field?  Want to conduct research that makes a difference in the lives of children with disabilities?  Interested in becoming a teacher of teachers who helps educators at all levels learn to implement evidence-based practices?  You may be interested in earning a Ph.D. in Special Education!!!

The SEEDS doctoral training program is a four year program in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Thanks to generous funding from OSEP, SEEDS Scholars will receive a $38,000 annual stipend (for four years), free tuition, annual travel support, and health benefits*. 

The SEEDS program is highly competitive; please email Project Directors Michael Kennedy and Bill Therrien to learn more (see below).  Areas of research are flexible, faculty members who are affiliated with the SEEDS program and Special Education Program at U.Va include: Michael Kennedy (mjk3p@virginia.edu) & Bill Therrien (wjt2c@virginia.edu), Project Directors; Bryan Cook, Lysandra Cook, Stephanie Morano, Youjia Hua, Gail Lovette, Catherine Bradshaw, Emily Solari

Please visit https://curry.virginia.edu/academics/special-education to learn more about individual faculty members and the doctoral program at U.Va.  For priority consideration, please apply ASAP!  GRE Scores are required for admission.  * = Please contact Dr. Kennedy for important stipulations regarding acceptance of OSEP money as part of this competition.


Project VIDEO

A Master’s Degree Program in Special Education Available at the University of Virginia

Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Do you have a bachelor’s degree and thought about becoming a special education teacher?  Do you have an interest in learning how to teach students to read?  Project VIDEO could be for you!  We have funding to provide $12,000 fellowships to well-qualified individuals seeking to become special education teachers or speech-language pathologists who will work in schools. 

The purpose of Project VIDEO (Virginia Intensification for Individuals with Dyslexia who need Explicitness and Ongoing Tiered Supports) is to collaboratively prepare special education teachers alongside speech-language pathologists (SLPs).  This project is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education (Grant # H325K190048).  The successful completion of this project will contribute to OSEP Director Laurie VanderPloeg’s call to attract, prepare, and retain effective personnel in special education.   Like most states, Virginia (VA) has a critical shortage of certified special educators and SLPs; this shortage contributes to students with disabilities (SWD) experiencing among the worst academic outcomes of any student group (Virginia Department of Education, 2019). 

Funded scholars in project VIDEO will either be enrolled in U.Va’s post-graduate masters of teaching program that leads to state licensure as a special educator (K-12), or U.Va’s communication disorders master’s degree program that leads to licensure as a SLP.  The scholars selected from among the two programs will complete their respective programs, but also share coursework and aligned practice-based opportunities in shared field experiences.  The two programs have separate application processes and requirements. 

The first VIDEO scholars from special education will enroll in June of 2020 and complete their masters/licensure program in May of 2021 (11-month program).  The first VIDEO scholars in the SLP program will enroll in June of 2020 and graduate in December of 2022 (2.5-year program).  Subsequent scholars will follow the same sequence for the duration of project funding.  We aim to use project funds to support a total of 75 future professionals (15 professionals/year x 5 years) who serve VA students with dyslexia and other disabilities.  Each will receive a $12,000 fellowship to help address financial barriers to entering the field.  The fellowship will be applied directly to the student account.  Other fellowships, scholarships and awards are also available.  Scholars who accept funding from the federal government are expected to work with students with disabilities in schools for at two years for every one year they accept funding.  

Questions?  Email Project Director Dr. Michael Kennedy at mjk3p@virginia.edu Apply today!  Co-Principal Investigators on the project are Dr. LaVae Hoffman, Dr. Lysandra Cook, and Dr. Emily Solari.


Project S4

The overarching purpose of Project S4 (Supporting Student Science Success Through Multimedia Learning and Teacher Professional Development) is to improve academic achievement for middle school students with disabilities, thus helping them prepare for rigorous high school coursework and beyond.  Through all aspects of this project, students with disabilities (SWD), English Leaners (ELs), and others who are at-risk for these challenges will gain access to evidence-based instructional technology through a series of multimedia modules intended to boost understanding of core concepts in science courses.  Specifically, students will use content acquisition podcasts (see www.vocabsupport.com for samples), and visualizations and simulations of science concepts (www.phet.colorado.edu) to improve overall science performance.  Teachers will receive professional development in part using the Classroom Teaching (CT) Scan (www.thectscan.com) and multimedia modules (see www.spedintro.com).  

Project Sis funded by a grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education (Grant # H327S190004).  The Principal Investigator is Dr. Michael Kennedy, the Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Jennie Chiu, and the project Investigator is Dr. Bill Therrien.