Cynthia Dieterich, Ph.D.

Cynthia Dieterich, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Dieterich is a Special Education faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Literacy Department. She teaches Introduction to Exceptionalities for candidates in the Teacher Education program and Speech Pathology.  She recently competed 17 years as a faculty member in special education at an urban state university in Cleveland, Ohio where she taught doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate courses in psychometrics, special education, developmental psychology, and urban education.  She has experience as a classroom teacher at the early elementary level in inclusive settings; a teacher for students in K-8 with learning disabilities; and a teacher/counselor for adolescents who were emotionally disturbed.  She brings this background to the university classroom with the focus on the importance of family in the life of a child with a disability and the understanding that family plays a major role in the child’s education.

Her research has included the use of quantitative, qualitative, and legal analysis with publications in medical, legal, and educational journals.  Her research addresses issues related to special education law, teacher education, functional behavioral assessment, young children with hearing impairments, young children with hemangiomas, and health-related services in special education.  Researchers continue to cite her work in pediatrics, psychology, psychiatry, dermatology, plastic surgery, deaf education, psychology, early childhood, communication disorders, and otolaryngology journals in over a dozen countries.  In addition, a District Court judge and the American Civil Liberties Union have also cited her research.  She also presents her research at national and state conferences of the Education Law Association (ELA), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD).

Dr. Dieterich is delighted to be in Connecticut considering the long-standing connection with Cleveland.  Northeast Ohio was once known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut.  Attorney and civic leader, Moses Cleveland, from Canterbury, lead a team to Northeast Ohio. “While I was in New Connecticut I laid out a town on the bank of Lake Erie, which was called by my name, and I believe the child is now born that may live to see that place as large as Old Windham.”  Thanks Moses and thanks to Esther too who kept the home fires burning.

Degrees and Certifications

    Degrees and Certifications

    • Ph.D., 1989, Special Education, Early Childhood and Psychometrics, Kent State University
    • M.Ed., 1983, Curriculum and Instruction, Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders, Cleveland State University
    • B.S., 1979, Early Childhood Education; Reading Instruction emphasis, Cleveland State University
    • Ohio teaching certification in special education (K‑12) and early childhood education (K‑8)

Teaching Responsibilities

    • ED 205 Introduction to Exceptionalities
    • ED 569 Introduction to Exceptionalities

Research Interests and Grants

    • Special and general education law and policy
    • Children with medical needs
    • Early intervention
    • Families
    • Assessment

Publications and Presentations

    Publications

    Dieterich, C.A., Snyder, N.D., & Villani, C. J. (2017).  Where we are now:  Legal review of functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention plans.  Manuscript accepted. Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal.

    Brady, K.P. & Dieterich, C.A. (2016).  Use of video-surveillance to monitor special educators. West’s Education Law Reporter, 325, 573-589.

    Dieterich, C.A., Snyder, N.D., & Villani, C. J. (2016).  A legal study of children with emotion disturbance and mental health needs and implications for practice.  Journal of Law and Education, 43(1), 39-64.

    Dieterich, C.A. & Smith, K. (2015).  The impact of special education law on career and technical education.  American Secondary Education, 43, 60-72.

    Dieterich, C. A., Snyder, N.D., & Villani, C. J.  (2015). Bullying issues impacting students with disabilities: Highlights of Section 1983, Title IX, Section 504, ADA, and IDEA Cases. Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, 1, 103-130.

    Dieterich, C. A., Villani, C. J., & Bennett, P. T.  (2003). Functional behavioral assessments: Beyond student behavior.  Journal of Law & Education.

    Freeman, B., Dieterich, C.A., & Rak, C.  (2002). The struggle for language: Perspectives and practices of urban parents with children who are deaf and hard of hearing.  American Annals of the Deaf, 147, 37-44.

    Villani, C. J., & Dieterich, C. A.  (2001). Litigating the future of functional behavioral assessment. West’s Education Law Reporter, 154, 433-439.

    Dieterich, C. A., & Villani, C. J.  (2000). Functional behavioral assessment: Process without procedures.  Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, 2, 209-219.

    Mawdsley, R. D., & Dieterich, C.A.  (1996). Limiting services to parochial school students: What does Zobreist now mean?  West’s Education Law Reporter, 112, 555-582.

    Dieterich, C. A., & Panton, C. L.  (1996). The trend toward teaching: Career changers and motivations.  Journal of Career Development, 22(4), 249-259.

    Dieterich, C. A. (1995).  Health related services under IDEA that are medical in nature.  West’s Education Law Reporter, 100, 831-840.

    Dieterich, C. A.  (1995). Kiryas Joel and implications for special education services.  Religion and Public Education, 22(1), 14-16.

    Dieterich‑Miller, C. A., Cohen, B. A., & Liggett, J.  (1992). Behavioral adjustment and self‑concept of young children with hemangiomas.  Pediatric Dermatology, 9, 241‑245.

    Dieterich‑Miller, C. A., & Safford, P. L. (1992).  Psychosocial development of children with hemangiomas:  Home, school, health care collaboration.  Children's Health Care, 21, 84‑89.

    Dieterich‑Miller, C. A., & Safford, P. L. (1990).  Special needs training and the effect of prematurity labeling.  Children's Health Care, 19, 112‑115.

    Stahlman, J. I., Safford, P. L., Pisarchick, S., Miller, C., & Dyer, D.  (1989). Crossing the boundaries of early childhood special education personnel preparation: Creating a path for retraining. Teacher Education and Special Education, 12, 5‑12.

    Crisci, P. E., Giancola, J. M., & Miller, C. A.  (1987). Win/win, effective schools/school reform: An agenda for the 1990s.  Government Union Review, 8(1), 1‑24.

    Book Chapter

    Brady, K. & Dieterich, C. (2015).  Legal and policy issues associated with autism.  In A. Normore, P. A. L. Ehrensal, P. F. First, & M. S. Torres (Eds.), Legal Frontiers in Education: Complex Issues for Leaders, Policymakers, and Policy.  Implementers. UK: Emerald Group.

    National Presentations (Peer-Reviewed)

    Dieterich, C.A., Snyder, N.D., & Villani, C.J. (2016).  Response to intervention:  Fidelity or Myth? Paper presented at the 2016 Education Law Association Conference, Orlando, FL.

    Dieterich, C.A., Snyder, N.D., & Villani, C.J. (2015).  Functional behavioral assessment and behavior intervention plans—where are we? Review of the legislation and recent cases. Paper presented at the 2015 Education Law Association Conference, Cleveland, OH.

    Dieterich, C.A., Snyder, N.D., & Villani, C.J. (2014, November). Bullying issues impacting students with disabilities: Highlights of section 504 and IDEA cases with recommendations for schools. Paper presented at the Education Law Association, San Diego, CA.

    Smith, K., & Dieterich, C.A.  (2014, November). Laboratory and hands-on classrooms: IDEA and 504 considerations.  Roundtable paper presented at the Education Law Association, San Diego, CA.

    Villani, C.J., Snyder, N.D., & Mooney, C.A. (2013, November).  Bullying issues impacting students with disabilities: Highlights of section 504 and IDEA cases with recommendations for schools. Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Denver, CO.

    Mooney, C.A., Villani, C.J., & Bennett, P.T. (2012, November).  Nearly 25 years since Honig v. Doe: The state of discipline, behavior and bullying in special education.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Hilton Head, SC.

    Villani, C.J., & Mooney, C.A.  (2011, November).  Response to Intervention (RTI):  Overview, IDEA requirements, and efficacy of implementation.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Chicago, IL.

    Mooney, C.A., & Villani, C.J. (2009, November).  Response to intervention (RIT): Understanding IDEA requirements and applications in schools.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Louisville, KY.

    Villani, C. J., & Mooney, C.A.  (2008, November).  Has NCLB closed the achievement gap? Function versus reality.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, San Antonio, Texas.

    Mooney, C.A., & Villani, C.J.  (2006) Burden of proof under IDEA – Positive movement: A review of Schaffer v. Weast.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Nassau, Bahamas.

    Villani, C. J. & Mooney, C.A. (2005).  Post-secondary school’s legal responsibility. Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Memphis, Tennessee.

    Mooney, C. A., & Villani, C. J. (2003).  Creating advocacy in post-secondary education for students with disabilities.   Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Savannah, Georgia.

    Villani, C., Dieterich, C. A., & Burns, B. D. (2002).  Resurrection of the eleventh amendment: Are the rights of special education students in jeopardy?  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Dieterich, C.A., Villani, C., & Bennett, P. T., (2001, November).  Functional behavioral assessments: Beyond student behavior.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Villani, C., & Dieterich, C.A.  (2000, November).  Litigating the future of functional behavioral assessment.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Atlanta, Georgia. 

    Dieterich, C. A., & Villani, C.  (1999, November).  Functional behavioral assessment: Process without procedure.   Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Chicago, Illinois.

    Dieterich, C. A., Shula, W. & Villani, C.  (1998, November).  Discipline and behavior under the IDEA reauthorization.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Charleston, South Carolina.

    Dieterich, C. A., & Villani, C.  (1997, November).  Publicly funded special education in private/parochial settings:  A Revisit to Agostini v. Felton.  Paper presented at the Education Law Association, Seattle, Washington.

    Dieterich, C. A. (1997, October).  Medicinal roulette or can we use drugs effectively to treat attention problems.  Paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Disabilities, Arlington, Virginia.

    Dieterich, C. A. (1997, April).  Strictness tempered by fairness: The impact of procedural violations on special education.  Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, Illinois.      

    Dieterich, C. A. (1996, April).  Legal issues of children with health care needs and the medical nature of related services.  Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, New York, New York.

    Polloway, E., Dieterich, C. A., & Engelhard, J.  (1995, November).  Ethical standards for learning disabilities professionals.  Paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Disabilities, Chicago, Illinois.

    Dieterich, C. A., & Bennett, P. T.  (1995, November).  Exalting form over substance: The impact of IDEA procedural violations on special education appeals.  Paper presented at the National Organization on Legal Problems in Education, Kansas City, Missouri.

    Dieterich, C. A., & Gannon, E. L.  (1994, November).  Pack your bags and journey to the other side of learning: Use of multiple intelligences for assessment and remediation.  Paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Disabilities, San Diego, California.

    Dieterich, C. A. (1993, May).  Young children with hemangiomas:  A perspective on self‑concept, behavioral development, and family functioning.  Paper presented at the annual convention of  the Association for Children's Health Care, Chicago, Illinois.

    Dieterich‑Miller, C. A.  (1992, October).  Seeing is believing: Recognizing the student's perspective of integration.  Paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Disabilities,  Kansas City, Missouri.

    Dieterich‑Miller, C. A.  (1991, October).  Legal issues and learning disabilities.  Paper presented at the International Conference on Learning Disabilities, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

    Dieterich‑Miller, C. A., & Dove Jones, S.  (1991, April).  Children with rare chronic skin diseases: Hemangiomas and epidermolysis bullosa.  Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Council for Exceptional Children, Atlanta, Georgia.

    Safford, P. L., Sanders, K., Stahlman, J. I., Miller, C. A., & Dyer, D.  (1989, April).  Preparation of teachers of young children with handicaps: Needs, issues, and a provisional model.  Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Council for Exceptional Children, San Francisco, California.

    Sanders, K., Safford, P. L., Stahlman, J. I., Pisarchick, S.  Miller, C. A., & Dyer, D.  (1988, November).  Bridging the early childhood‑special education boundary to develop a statewide model: Report of progress to date and tentative recommendations.  Paper presented at the annual conference of Teacher Education and Special Education, Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Miller, C. A. (1988, March).  Effect of prematurity labeling on caregiver perceptions of newborns.  Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Council for Exceptional Children, Washington, DC.

    Shevin, M., & Miller, C. A. (1983, April).  Did I say you could do that?  How retarded children learn about work in the classroom.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.

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