Nancy L. Peterson

Professor Emerita, Special Education
Primary office:


Dr. Nancy Peterson provided leadership for the Department in numerous ways. She served as Chair of the Department of Special Education, established an early childhood learning center at the KU Medical Center, lead the KU Professional Development Schools initiative, and taught in the early childhood program.


Peterson's publications cover a wide variety of articles, monographs, book chapters, training and resource materials, book reviews and technical reports covering a range fo topics (e.g., early childhood-SPED, personnel training, play behavior and social development of young children, chronic and acute illnesses in children, interagency collaboration, Head Start, implementation of federal education law, early intervention services for preschoolers/infants/toddlers with at-risk conditions, abused/neglected children in social services systems, etc.) Peterson also has produced films and video products. She is author of an authoritative graduate level textbook on early childhood special education; has published numerous articles and book chapters, over 90 technical reports relating to grant projects, two 16 mm films, two major video-projects, and short video productions used in television broadcast courses which she has taught over the past 12 years. Grant funding training and technical assistance projects directed by Peterson also have produced numerous packaged training modules, newsletters, resource manuals, and other publications which have been disseminated nation-wide.

Peterson has obtained over $8m in grant funds through federal/state sources to support various child/family early intervention services, university personnel training programs as well as inservice/outreach training projects, technical assistance, research, model development and demonstration programs, and other research, demonstration, and training projects. This represents over 50 individual grant applications that have been approved and funded. Most were multi-year grants with 3-5 years of funding.

Curriculum vitae (pdf)

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 1969
  • M.S., Educational Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 1966
  • B.S., Elementary Education, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 1964
  • A.S., Weber State College, Ogden, Utah, 1963


Early childhood special education, intellectual disabilities, and professional development schools.

Special Education Calendar
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Wayne Sailor directs KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, to develop a national center to assist schools
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
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