J. Ron Nelson

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Website:Erudite Digital Learning Lab

J. Ron Nelson

Interim Department Chair, Larry & Sharon Roos Family Professor of Special Education

Ph.D., Special Education/Educational Psychology, Utah State University, 1990
M.S., Special Education, Eastern Montana College, 1987
B.S., Agricultural/Secondary Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983
B.S., Plant Science, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, 1979

Ron Nelson is the Larry & Sharon Roos Family Professor of Special Education, a College of Education and Human Sciences Scholar, and co-director of the Center for At-Risk Children's Services. His expertise spans a range of areas for special needs, including learning technologies, English language literacy, emotional and behavioral disorders, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and risk factors for behavior and learning problems.

During his 31-year career in special education, Ron has published 131 peer-reviewed articles, 20 book chapters and 11 books. He has also garnered more than $26 million in grant funding, and published 17 curriculum and two assessment tools that continue to help children around the world achieve maximum potential for learning.

Nelson has developed a number of literacy interventions that are used widely in the United States and worldwide. His intervention program, Stepping Stones to Literacy, is the second-highest rated program in the area of alphabetics for kindergarten children on the What Works Clearinghouse rating of intervention effectiveness. It is used by schools in all 50 states. Early Vocabulary Connections and Multiple Meaning Vocabulary Program are also used by schools across the country. ClickNRead Phonics is used by more than 2 million children in all 50 states and 100 countries worldwide, while Steam Runner Phonics and Steam Runner Early Math have been developed as Google apps to enhance availability and accessibility to children within and outside of the classroom.

Areas of Expertise:

    Learning technologies
    Applied intervention studies
    English language literacy development
    Emotional and behavioral disorders
    Positive behavioral interventions and supports
    Link between language/literacy skills and emotional and behavioral disorders
    Antecedent risk factors and developmental pathway for behavior and learning problems

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2017, 2008, Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln Teaching Council2016, Parents' Recognition Award, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Parents Association2005, YMCA Strong Community Award, Lincoln, Nebraska2005, Think Time Strategy selected as promising program, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program2004, Stepping Stones to Literacy nominated as Evidence-Based Early Literacy Program, state departments of education2003, Wes Becker Award for outstanding research on direct instruction2001, Think Time Strategy selected as promising program, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools program2000, Initial Career Research Award, Council for Exceptional Children1999, Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, College of Education, Arizona State University
2019-present, Interim Chair, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2016-present, Larry & Sharon Roos Family Professor of Special Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2016-present, Director, Erudite Learning Lab, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2008-2016, Professor, CEHS Scholar, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2000-08, Co-Director, Center for At-Risk Children's Services, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2004-08, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2000-04, Research Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln1997-2000, Associate Professor, College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona1991-96, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington1994-96, Director, Center for Social Policy Research and Evaluation, College of Human Development and Education, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington1990-91, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Urban Education Research and Development, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago1989-90, Project Coordinator, Utah State Department of Education, Division of Special Education Prereferral Project1989-90, Project Assistant, Utah State Department of Education, Division of Special Education, Federal and State Compliance Evaluation Project1989-90, Project Assistant, Utah State Department of Education, Division of Special Education Mainstreaming Project1987-88, Teaching Assistant, Department of Special Education, Utah State University, Federal Behavior Disorders Special Education Training Grant, Logan, Utah1986-87, Teaching Assistant, Department of Reading and Special Education, Eastern Montana College, Federal Rural Special Education Training Grant
American Educational Research AssociationCouncil for Exceptional ChildrenNational Association of School Psychology