Dr. Monica Simonsen is the Program Designer for the Secondary Transition online graduate program at the University of Kansas. Dr. Simonsen’s primary research interests are the role of secondary school programming, transition services and family expectations/engagement on the post-school outcomes of youth with disabilities. A particular area of interest is the role of the transition specialist, including their personal, attributes, characteristics and practices. Dr. Simonsen previously worked as a Senior Research Associate at TransCen, Inc., providing technical assistance and research expertise to a variety of state and national transition projects.
In this capacity, Dr. Simonsen worked closely with communities in Maryland to implement a model of seamless transition and improve the post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. This involved conducting needs assessments, using the findings to help the communities develop action plans, and helping to coordinate appropriate technical assistance and training activities.
Prior to joining TransCen, Inc., Dr. Simonsen worked as a secondary special educator and transition specialist in Maryland, coordinated a post-secondary program for 18-21 year olds with intellectual disabilities, and completed her doctorate at the University of Maryland. She has been an instructor for KU since 2010 and has taught courses at the University of Maryland and at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Simonsen has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and practice briefs.