Co-Director of VolsTeach
Susan Benner earned her BA in social sciences at Southern Methodist University and MS in special education from The University of Tennessee. After teaching in Memphis, Tennessee, she earned her Ed.D. in special education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Since 1980 Susan Benner has been at The University of Tennessee, where she is now a professor and department head of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. She has been an institutional representative to American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education for many years and is currently serving as president of the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Under her leadership as Director of the Graduate School of Education and Associate Dean for Professional Licensure for CEHHS, she has facilitated participation along with colleagues at other Tennessee institutions of higher education in the Teacher Performance Assessment work currently underway under the guidance of AACTE and CCSSO as well as work associated with the Teaching Diverse Students Initiative sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Institute.
In addition to her work with VolsTeach, she is principal investigator for several state grants, including one focused on technical support and professional development in conjunction with system-level development of Response-to-Intervention models. She was co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Planning Grant to develop urban teacher residency programs in two East Tennessee school districts and is awaiting word of funding for a Noyce Scholarship Grant. Susan Benner has published three textbooks, including Issues in Special Education within the Context of American Society, andAssessment of Young Children with Special Needs, and has just completed a fourth book, Promising Practices for Elementary Teachers: Make No Excuses, with Corwin Press. She is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, affiliated with the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Education.