Kimber L. Wilkerson


(608) 263-4362

407 Education Building

1000 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706

Wilkerson, Kimber

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Dr. Wilkerson has broad expertise in the preparation of teachers to work with students with disabilities and providing instruction to students with disabilities to improve their long-term academic and social/behavioral outcomes. She is currently the Director of Teacher Education and the Certification Officer for UW-Madison. Dr. Wilkerson has directed several teacher preparation programs at UW-Madison, including an accelerated licensure program for local school district employees. Her past experience includes working as a special educator in the Seattle Public Schools. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, she held an appointment at the University of Maryland where she was also involved in special educator preparation. She is currently Faculty Director of the UW-Madison School of Education’s Teacher Education Center, where she works closely with individual teacher education programs and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She is currently Principal Investigator, along with co-PI, Dr. Melinda Leko, of a federally funded Teacher Quality Partnership grant. She is also co-Principal Investigator for two other federally funded personnel preparation grants to prepare master’s level special educators and one doctoral leadership grant. Dr. Wilkerson is also a member of an AACTE Networked Improvement Community focused on investigating strategies to address the chronic shortages of special educators and is on the Executive Committee of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, serving in the role of immediate Past President. Dr. Wilkerson’s research expertise focuses on providing instruction to students in alternative settings and improving long-term outcomes for students with learning and behavioral disorders.


  • Ph D Special Education, University of Washington, 1997
  • M Ed Special Education, University of Washington, 1991
  • BA Computer Studies, Northwestern University, 1987

Select Publications

  • Afacan, K., & Wilkerson, K. L. (2019). The effectiveness of behavior-focused alternative middle schools for students with disabilities. Behavioral Disorders, 45(1), 41-52.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Afacan, K., Perzigian, A. B., Courtright, M., & Lange, L. (2018). Alternative and traditional high school enrollment: An analysis of one urban district. Journal of At Risk Issues, 21(2), 13-21.
  • Afacan, K., Wilkerson, K. L., & Ruppar, A. (2017). Multicomponent reading interventions for students with intellectual disability. Remedial and Special Education, 39, 242-299.
  • Yan, M. C., & Wilkerson, K. L. (2017). Reading instruction in juvenile correctional facilities for students with and without disabilities. Journal of Correctional Education, 68(2), 37-60.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Afacan, K., Yan, M., Justin, W., & Datar, S. (2016). Academic remediation-focused alternative schools: Impact on student outcomes. Remedial and Special Education., 37, 66-77.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Afacan, K., Perzigian, A. B., Justin, W., & Lequia, J. L. (2016). Behavior-focused alternative schools: Impact on student outcomes. Behavioral Disorders, 41, 81-94.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Yan, M., Perzigian, A., & Cakiroglu, O. (2016). Supplementary reading instruction in alternative high schools: A statewide survey of educator reported practices and barriers.. The High School Journal, 99, 166-178.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Perzigian, A. B., & Schurr, J. L. (2013). Promoting Social Skills in the Inclusive Classroom. In New York: Guilford Press.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Gagnon, J. C., Mason-Williams, L., & Lane, H. B. (2012). Reading instruction for students with high incidence disabilities in juvenile corrections. Preventing School Failure, 56, 219-231.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Gagnon, J. C., Melekoglu, M. A., & Cakiroglu, O. (2012). Reading instruction in secondary day treatment and residential schools for youth with emotional or behavioral disorders.. Remedial and Special Education, 33, 78-88.

Select Presentations

  • Wilkerson, K. L. (2018, ). Examining and responding to the critical issue of personnel shortages in special education. presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Las Vegas, NV.
  • Afacan, K., & Wilkerson, K. L. (2017, ). Academic behavior outcomes in behavior-focused alternative middle schools. presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting
  • Wilkerson, K. L. (2016, ). The Education of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD). presented at the Public Lecture, Eskisehir, Turkey.
  • Wilkerson, K. L. (2016, ). Twice Exceptional: Educating Students Labeled Gifted and LD. presented at the Workshop, Eskisehir, Turkey.
  • Wilkerson, K. L. (2016, ). Special Education Practice and Teacher Preparation in the U.S.. presented at the Guest Lecture, Trabzon, Turkey.
  • Wilkerson, K. L., Datar, S. D., Yan, M., & Afacan, K. (2015, ). Academic remediation-focused alternative schools: Impact on student outcomes.. presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting

Select Awards and Honors

  • 2015-16 Academic Year Fulbright U.S. Scholar, Fulbright-Hays, Senior Researcher Program, (2015-2016)
  • Fellow of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007