Janelle Lawson

Assistant Professor
Janelle Lawson Biography
Office Information: 
Burk Hall
Room Number: 

Janelle Lawson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of special education in the Department of Special Education and Communicative Disorders, and co-coordinator of the mild/moderate disabilities program. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses related to understanding, assessing, and instructing individuals with mild/moderate disabilities. Dr. Lawson’s primary research interests include supporting equitable measures of special education teacher efficacy, investigating pedagogical practices and instructional delivery designs for improved teacher preparation, and increasing the strategic recruitment and retention of special education teachers.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Special Education, University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles, Joint Doctoral Program, 2015
  • M.A., Special Education, California State University, Los Angeles, 2011
  • B.A., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2006 


Lawson, J. E., & Knollman, G. A. (in press).  Evaluating special education teachers: School administrators’ perceptions of the process. The Journal of Special Education Leadership.


Lawson, J. E., & Cmar, J. L. (2016). Implications of state policy changes on mental health service models for students with disabilities. The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, 5(1), 1-15.


Lawson, J. E. (2014). Value-added modeling: Challenges for measuring special education teacher quality. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 10(1), gseis_interactions_20131. Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/9r67085n


Lawson, J. E. (2013). A look at California Assembly Bill 114: Transition of special education and related services formerly provided by county mental health agencies. Retrieved from http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/ass114brief.pdf



Recent Grants/Awards

Principal Investigator (2016)

Study title: An Inquiry into School Administrators’ Training and Support Needs for Evaluating Special Educators. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, San Francisco State University.


Community Engaged Scholarship Faculty Mini-Grant (2016)                                        

Funding to support incorporating a Community Service Learning (CSL) component as an option in an Introduction to Disabilities course.  San Francisco State University.


Principal Investigator (2016)                                                                                                    

Study title: An Analysis of School Administrator Rater Reliability at the Rubric Item Level. San Francisco State University.