Dr. Sandi Cole is the director of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning (CELL) at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Prior to joining the university, Dr. Cole spent 22 years as a public-school teacher and administrator at both the elementary and secondary levels. Cole is project director for the Indiana Center on Teacher Quality, Indiana Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, the Indiana Disproportionality Resource Center, and the Indiana Teacher Appraisal and Support System. Dr. Cole has conducted numerous program evaluations for school districts and states and has directed large-scale federal and state grant projects. She has been awarded over $20 million in grants during her tenure at Indiana University. Dr. Cole has directed the Special Education Leadership program in the Indiana University School of Education for the past 10 years. She has consulted extensively with school districts across the country on designing schools that are inclusive of all students. Her research includes three large-scale studies of student achievement outcomes for students with disabilities in inclusive settings, four key research projects on Indiana’s teacher evaluation system, and a recent study on charter schools. Her areas of expertise include collaboration, educational leadership, school change and redesign, teacher appraisal systems, school-wide discipline, and implementation science.
Cole holds a bachelor's degree in Special Education, a master’s degree in Special Education, an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana University.
My entire career has been spent in education. While my career journey has taken several different pathways, my focus has always been on advocacy for the under-represented groups who often don’t have a voice in our educational systems and in our communities. Over time, this passion narrowed to developing myself and others to lead organizations that value both equity and excellence.
- Inclusion of Student with Disabilities
- Issues of Equity
- Charter Schools
- Teacher Performance Systems
- Implementation Science
- Grossi, T., & Cole, C. (2013). Teaching transition skills in the inclusive schools. Brookes Publishing Co.
- Cole, S., & Murphy, H. (2016). An analysis of Indiana district evaluation plans. Report submitted to the Indiana State Board of Education. Indiana University, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community.
- Cole, S. & Murphy, H., Frisby, M, & Grossi, T. (submitted). The impact of inclusion on student academic outcomes. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- Murphy, H. & Cole, S. (in press). A study comparing achievement outcomes for Mayor Sponsored charter school students with their traditional public school peers. Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
- Cole, S. M., Murphy, H. R., Frisby, M. B., Grossi, T. A., & Bolte, H. R. (2020). The relationship of special education placement and student academic outcomes. The Journal of Special Education, 54(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466920925033
Awards and Honors
- 2019, Alumni Speaker, Indiana University School of Education Graduation Convocation
- 2018, Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to Education Award, Indiana University School Of Education
- 1992, Nancy Louis Kaye Memorial Scholarship
- 1990, Harmon Baldwin Scholarship