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Rachel Juergensen, Ph.D.

Rachel Juergensen

Assistant Professor of Special Education

Campus Address: Education & Humanities Building, Room 239

Emailrjuergensen [at] desu.edu


B.S., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2004

M.A., Educational Administration, Southwest Baptist University, 2008

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2022

Research Interests

Dr. Rachel Juergensen is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at DSU. Her research focuses on equitable opportunities for students with disabilities and students experiencing difficulty in the K-12 classroom. Her current $1.06 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, Project DE-SPEC (Delaware Special Educator Certification), aims to provide full tuition support and mentoring to current practicing teachers who want to pursue a certificate in special education and better support and improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

Dr. Juergensen is also a research partner with the Special Education Research Accelerator (SERA) and is currently involved in a study that will inform both the science education and special education communities on how best to structure equitable science education for students with learning disabilities within elementary science classrooms.

Research Focus

  • Special Education
  • Inclusion
  • Science Education
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Instructional Methods
  • Mixed-Methods Research

Consulting Experience

  • Joyful Inclusion, Project Evaluator, 2023 to present

Consultation Expertise

I can work in collaboration with science content experts to help bring their content area into the K-12 classroom and make the content accessible for all students through inclusive instruction and/or all teachers through professional development opportunities. In a consultant role, I can serve as the subject matter expert for special education or inclusive practices. Additionally, I can serve as an external evaluator for educational focused research projects.

Selected Publications

  • Juergensen, R.L., Zangori, L., Friedrichsen, P., & Sadler, T. D. (2023). Teaching science to students with disabilities using socio-scientific issues. Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities, 26(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.14448/jsesd.15.0007

  • Lannin, A., van Garderen, D., Abdelnaby, H. Z., Smith, C. M., Juergensen, R. L., Folk, W., Palmer, T., & Romine, W. (2023). Scaffolding learning via multimodal STEM text sets for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/07319487231187637

  • Romine, W., van Garderen, D., Folk, W., Lannin, A., Juergensen, R.L., Smith, C., Abdelnaby, H., & Milarsky, T. (2023). Science literacy: Using multimodal STEM text sets to help students with disabilities engage in argumentation. Learning Disability Quarterly, 0(0). https://doi-org.desu.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/073194872 31209505

  • Smith, C. M., & Juergensen, R. L. (2023). Virtual scaffolded instruction for students with disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 38(1), 93-101. https://doi.org/10.1177/01626434211054433

  • van Garderen, D., Juergensen, R.L., Smith, C.M., Abdelnaby, H., Lannin, A., & Folk, W. (2021). Instructional scaffolding to engage all learners in complex science text. Science Scope, 44(3) 37. https://doi.org/10.1080/08872376.2021.12291386

  • Lannin, A., Juergensen, R.L., Smith, C.M., Abdelnaby, H., van Garderen, D., Folk, Bill., & Palmer, T. (2020). Multimodal STEM text sets to use literature and engage all learners in the science classroom. Science Scope, 44(2). https://doi.org/10.1080/08872376.2020.12291370

  • van Garderen, D., Decker, M., Juergensen, R.L., & Abdelnaby, H. (2020). Using the 5E instructional model in an online environment with pre-service special education teachers. Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities, 23(1), 8. https://doi.org/10.14448/jsesd.12.0008

  • van Garderen, D., Romine, W., Abdelnaby, H., Smith, C., & Juergensen, R.L. (in press). Science education for students with learning disabilities. In C. Okolo, N Patton Terry, and L. Cutting (Eds.) Handbook of Learning Disabilities (3rd ed.). Guildford.

  • Romine, W., Lannin, A., Palmer, T., van Garderen, D., Juergensen, R.L., Smith, C.M., & Folk, W. (2021). Use of complex multimodal text sets to support science literacy in middle school life sciences and English language arts classrooms. In P. Short, H. Henson, and J. R. McConnell (Eds.). Cultivating a scientific mindset in the age of inference.

  • Juergensen, R.L., & Tipton, L. (2019). Universal design for learning and multi-tiered systems of support: Current questions, concerns, and potential steps forward from the field of special education. Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education: The Director. 39(4), 6-8


  • US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, H325M230015, PI/Project Director, 2023-2028, $1.06 million, Delaware Special Educator Certification - Project DE-SPEC

  • Learning Disabilities Foundation of America, PI, 2021-2022, $6200, Student Perspectives on Next Generation Science Standards-Aligned Learning Opportunities

  • Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Learning Disabilities, PI, 2020, $975, Equitable Opportunities for Learning Science for Students with Learning Disabilities and Learning Difficulties