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Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Janet L. Applin, PhD
Janet L. Applin, PhD
- Professor


  • BS, Special and Elementary Education, Murray State University, 1986
  • M.Ed., Special Education specializing in Adolescent Behavior Disorders, Vanderbilt University, 1990
  • Ph.D., Special Education, Minor in Educational Administration, Vanderbilt University, 2005


Janet Applin was a special educator in public schools in Tennessee and Kentucky for 15 years before earning her Ph.D. in Special Education from Vanderbilt University in 2005. Dr. Applin joined the WKU faculty in 2004 in, what was then, the Special Instructional Programs (SIP) department in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. She served in SIP, later known as the School of Teacher Education and as Associate Dean for Academic Programs for five years for the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. She is currently a Professor in the newly re-named School of Leadership and Professional Studies (SLPS) (formerly Education Administration, Leadership and Research department, or EALR).

Dr. Applin is the Coordinator of Educational Administration programs in SLPS which include programs leading to advanced certification in School Leadership, Principal Level I and II, Director of Special Education Level I and II, Supervisor of Instruction, and Director of Pupil Personnel.

Dr. Applin’s research interests include school leadership and administration of special education programs, special education law and advocacy, and equity and culturally responsive teaching. She is active in university shared governance and curriculum development and is the current Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate and CEBS At-Large Faculty Representative for the 2021-2022 academic year. In past years, Dr. Applin has served on the Faculty Senate as a Departmental Representative, and member and chair of the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Recent Courses Taught:

  • EDAD 603 – School Law & Policy
  • EDAD 608 – Resource Management for Equitable Outcomes
  • EDAD 610 – Clinical Experiences in the Principalship
  • EDAD 620/SPED 620 – Seminar in the Administration of Special Education
  • EDAD 620/SPED 625 – Practicum in the Administration of Special Education
  • EDAD 630/SPED 630 – Special Education Law & Finance
  • SPED 532 – Families Professionals and Exceptionalities
  • EDLD 797 – Dissertation Seminar
  • EDAD 706 – Educational Leadership and Reform

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Applin, J.L. (2021, In press). Equity and Cultural Responsiveness, Chapter 3. In J. F. Wallace, DSL, E. Proffitt, & S. Sullivan (Eds.), School Improvement: Let the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders Work for You. Rowman & Littlefield.

Applin, J. L. (2019). Curriculum Approval Time Lag in Public Comprehensive Universities. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 19(5). 

Applin, J.L. (May 2017). Paper presented at the 2017 Global Conference on Education and Research, Sarasota-Manatee, FL. The Politics and Practices of Curriculum Approval in Higher Education.

Kirby, E.G., & Applin, J.L. (November 2017). Paper presented at the 2017 40th Annual Teacher Education Division Conference, Savannah, Georgia. Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions and Knowledge of English Language Learners with Disabilities.

Applin, J.L., Boman, M.J. (2016). Predictors of college readiness for students with autism spectrum disorders. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education. 6, (3), 14-19. DOI: 10.9790/7388-0603041419.

Applin, J.L. (July 2016). Roundtable discussion moderated at the Association for Leadership Educators (ALE), Sacramento, CA. The Politics and Practices of Curriculum Approval in Higher Education.

Applin, J.L. (October 2015). Paper presented at the Center for Scholastic Inquiry Conference, Charleston, SC. The Practices and Politics of Curriculum Development in Higher Education.

Emery, J., Applin, J.L., & Boman, M. (2013). A review of choice and preference assessments to increase academic attainment for autism spectrum disorders. Kentucky Teacher Education Journal.

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 Last Modified 9/11/18