Michael Kennedy headshot

Michael J. Kennedy

Associate Professor
Unit: Curry School of Education
Department: Curry School of Education
Office location and address
Bavaro Hall 327
417 Emmet St S
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2011
M.Ed., University of Delaware, 2007
M.A., Michigan State University, 2004
B.A., Ithaca College, 1998
Michael J. Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia.  He is the head of the STORMED Lab (Supporting Teachers through cOaching, obseRvations, and Multimedia to Educate students with Disabilities) please visit: https://education.virginia.edu/faculty-research/centers-labs-projects/research-labs/stormed-lab.  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 60 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 was awarded the 2021 TED/Pearson Excellence in Teacher Education Award, and U.Va’s Alumni Board of Trustees Award for excellence in university teaching in 2015. 

Project S4: Supporting Student Science Success Through Multimedia Learning and Teacher Professional Development
Source: U.S. Department Of Education
November 01, 2019 – October 31, 2024
Project VIDEO: Virginia Intensification for Individuals with Dyslexia who need Explicitness and Ongoing Tiered Supports
Source: U.S. Department Of Education
November 01, 2019 – October 31, 2024
Special Education Teacher Educators for the Future (SEEDS)
Source: U.S. Department Of Education - Special Ed. & Rehab
January 01, 2019 – December 31, 2023
Traineeships for Education of Special Education Personnel (Special Education: General Curriculum K-12 Endorsement Area Program)
Source: Virginia Department Of Education
July 01, 2019 – May 11, 2020
Traineeships for Education of Special Education Personnel (Special Education: General Curriculum K-12 Endorsement Area Program)
Source: Virginia Department Of Education
July 01, 2018 – May 10, 2019
CU-Using Multimedia to Improve Middle School Science and Special Education Teachers' use of Evidence-Based Vocabulary Practices, and the Impact on Vocabulary Performance of Students with Disabilities
Source: U.S. Department Of Education
July 01, 2013 – June 30, 2018
EDIS 4887: Field Experience: Special Education
Credits: 1
Extensive experience in observing classrooms and in practice teaching using various instructional strategies. Classroom placements are aligned with specific program/endorsement areas and meet the guidelines for the approved licensure program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prerequisite: Admission to Teacher Education Program.
EDIS 4995: Directed Research
Credits: 1–6
Directed Research under supervision of faculty member.
EDIS 5000: The Exceptional Learner
Credits: 3
An intensive introduction to the study of exceptional children and adults. Focuses on extending principles of learning and intellectual, socio-cultural, emotional, and physical development to persons with disabilities, as well as the gifted, autism, traumatic brain injury, ADD, and ADHD. Information on medical conditions which influence learning and development is also provided. Credit is not given for both EDIS 3020 and 5000.
EDIS 5041: Behavior & Classroom Management
Credits: 3
Examination of principles and applications of behavior analysis in education settings. Students learn fundamental concepts of human behavior as well as procedures for managing classroom behavior and routines for establishing positive learning environments.
EDIS 5100: Characteristics of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Credits: 1
This course presents the characteristics of children and adolescents with emotional and behavior disorders within the context of special education services. On completion of this course, students will have (1) knowledge of the origins and characteristics of the primary behavioral disorders, (2) procedures for identification and assessment, and (3) approaches of programming and instruction for ED/BD, autism and other related disabilities.
EDIS 5110: Characteristics of Learning Disabilities
Credits: 1
Studies the meaning and concepts associated with the field of learning disabilities and the diverse characteristics of individuals with these disabilities. Includes the nature, causes, assessment, and treatment of learning disabilities and related disabilities such as ADHD, ADD, brain injury and others. Prerequisite/corequisite: EDIS 3020 or 5000.
EDIS 5120: Characteristics of Intellectual Disabilities
Credits: 1
Designed to explore basic concepts/issues pertaining to persons with significant limitations in intelligence and adaptive behavior. While the course primarily explores the educational implications of having intellectual disabilities/mental retardation, the psychological, historical, and medical implications are also touched upon. Prerequisite: EDIS 3020 or 5000.
EDIS 5140: Methods of Instruction and Collaboration in Special Education
Credits: 3
Presents cognitive and behavioral instructional approaches for teaching children with special needs in a variety of service delivery options. Emphasis is given to collaborating and adapting instruction, assessment, and materials within inclusion and special education placements to support student achievement of the Virginia Standards of Learning. Co-requisite EDIS 4887
EDIS 5141: IEP & Transition Planning
Credits: 1
This class will focus on the development of legally appropriate IEPs and their application to instructional planning. The course will also address transition planning and the strategies for assisting students in sped to move across the grades & from school to post-secondary placements. This on-line class will include readings, cases, hands-on activities, & video analysis.
EDIS 5142: IEP Development and Implementation
Credits: 3
This class will focus on the development of legally appropriate IEPs and their application to instructional planning. Students will gain knowledge of the eligibility process, as well as legal and regulatory requirements of IEP development and implementation..
EDIS 5877: Seminar: Teaching Internship - Special Education
Credits: 3
Designed to accompany the teaching internship (i.e., student teaching). Focuses on special issues and concerns that grow out of that experience, including classroom management, parent-teacher conferences, and school-community relations. Seminar sections are aligned with specific program/endorsement areas and meet the guidelines for approved licensure programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
EDIS 5887: Teaching Internship: Special Education
Credits: 3–12
A required student teaching internship for pre-service teachers, this full-semester experience is supervised by clinical instructors from the public schools and university supervisors. Course sections are aligned with specific program/endorsement areas and meet the guidelines for the approved licensure program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program
EDIS 5993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent Study
EDIS 7991: Field Project
Credits: 3
A field-based, action research project, designed to explore a contemporary educational problem.
EDIS 8020: Readings and Research in Education of Exceptional Children
Credits: 3
Individual reading or research program for students majoring in the education of exceptional children. Areas of emphasis: behavior disordered (emotionally disturbed); learning disabled; mentally retarded; general special education; and special education administration and supervision. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EDIS 8851: Advanced Studies in Special Education Research and Issues
Credits: 3
Advanced graduate students examine professional literature bearing on the nature, causes, asessment, and treatment of individuals with disabilities, particularly the literature related to special education and the issues that arise from differing perspectives on these topics. Topics (a: characteristics and issues; b: assessment and intervention) alternate annually; students may repeat the course one time.
EDIS 8853: Seminar: Research Grant Writing
Credits: 3
This doctoral level seminar is designed to help students learn how to write proposals for research funding. The major course assignment is writing a mock research proposal using either the guidelines of the DoED's Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, or the National Institutes of Health.
EDIS 9740: Internship in College Teaching or Supervision
Credits: 1–6
Opportunities for experienced doctoral students to teach courses or partial courses at the University, or to supervise student teachers under the guidance of a faculty member.
EDIS 9993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Under close guidance of a faculty member, students work on an area of particular interest that cannot be met by a regularly scheduled course. A plan of study should be signed by the faculty sponsor and filed in the student's permanent file in the Office of Student Affairs. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EDIS 9998: Doctoral Research Apprenticeship
Credits: 3–12
Designed to give doctoral students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Advisor Permission Required
EDIS 9999: Doctoral Dissertation
Credits: 3–12
Doctoral Dissertation Research completed under the guidance of dissertation committee. 12 hours is required for graduation. Permission of instructor required.

Faculty Senate


Journal of Special Education Technology


2021                TED/Pearson Excellence in Teacher Education Award – Awarded by Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

2019                Nominee for Division for Research Early Career Award 

2017 & 2018   Nominee for AERA Division K Early Career Award

2015                Early Career Researcher Award—Awarded by the Instructional Technology Special Interest Group (SIG-IT) within AERA 

2015                Alumni Board of Trustees All University Teaching Award—Awarded by 

University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center

2015                Nominee for State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award (Rising Star)

2013                Publication of the Year Award—Awarded by the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

2011                Dissertation of the Year Award—Awarded by the University of Kansas School of Education

2011                Judy Tate Outstanding Doctoral Student Award—Awarded by the University of 

Kansas Department of Special Education