Michelle Sands, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Special & Early Childhood Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2021)
Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Principalship | North Central College (2015)
Master of Education in Early Childhood and Special Education | Elmhurst College (2004)

Areas of Expertise:
Implementation of family-centered practices
Use of practitioner and caregiver coaching practices
Cultural adaptation of evidence-based practices
Alignment and continuity of early childhood and elementary services and support

Prior to graduating from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2021, Dr. Sands spent over 15 years working directly in the early childhood field as a blended classroom teacher, research support assistant, instructional coach, curriculum specialist, special education coordinator, and assistant principal. She has worked in and with public school districts, Head Start programs, museums, and child care providers.

Dr. Sands' passion is supporting families of young children with disabilities. Her research specifically focuses on the alignment and continuity of support and services between early childhood systems (preschool/primary), including investigating the potential for elementary teachers' use of family-centered and inclusive practices, and the cultural adaptation of evidence-based practices. She is also interested in exploring social media's role in the development of caregivers' advocacy skills and knowledge.

Date of First Employment at UW Oshkosh: September, 2021

Years of PK-12 Experience: 16

Classes Typically Taught:
Foundations of Early Childhood Education: Beginning with Infants and Toddlers
Preschool Learning Environments: Assessment, Curriculum, Instruction and Intervention