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Our Team

Jessica Coles, M.S.
Jessica Coles.png
Senior Training Specialist

Jessica Wayde Coles is a community organizer, certified special education teacher, an education lecturer at Siena College and doctoral research fellow at the University at Albany in the Educational Psychology and Methodology Ph.D. program.  Jessica conducts research primarily in special education and multicultural education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) improving the educational experiences of neuro-divergent learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder; (2) Multi-cultural teacher preparation; and (3) investigating how the intersection of race and ability impact students’ educational experiences.


Jessica has taught and worked in various educational settings, including a juvenile detention center, a variety of K-12 self-contained education classes, and teaching leadership and global citizenship skills in Riobamba, Ecuador.


Jessica’s life work is rooted in community building, whether it is in the classroom, academia, or her geographical location. She is always exploring how she can make experiences more equitable, intentional, and sustainable for students with special and unique needs.


Currently, Jessica is working within MI’s Evaluation and School Improvement Services division supporting the Capital District Regional Partnership Center as a Culturally Responsive Training Specialist. You can read her latest publication in The Journal of Teacher Action Research, Volume 6, Issue 1.



  • Culturally Sustainable and Responsive Pedagogy

  • Special Education in Elementary School

  • Instructional Strategies and Supports in ELA and Math

  • Evidence-Based Practices to support diverse learners

  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

  • Data-based decision-making to improve practices and student outcomes

  • Equity-Centered Practices K-12

  • Facilitating anti-racism and culturally responsive learning experiences



Ph.D. (in progress), Educational Psychology and Methodology, University at Albany

M.S. (2013), Special Education and Literacy, University at Albany

B.S. (2011), Criminal Justice and Elementary Education, Saint Peter’s University

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