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Wendy Cavendish

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Associate Professor of Adolescent Special Education
921 West

Wendy Cavendish joined the Hunter College faculty in 2013. She is the coordinator of the Adolescent Special Education program. Prior to her time at Hunter, she was a faculty member in the University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development from 2007-2013. She earned her Ph.D. in special education with a cognate in criminology and her M.S. in reading and learning disabilities from the University of Miami. She earned a B.A in anthropology and English literature from Lawrence University.


Dr. Cavendish’s teaching experience includes secondary reading and English in general, special, and alternative education in public schools in Miami. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in special education and criminology and public policy. She served as the Co-director of an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) doctoral training grant and was the Professor in Residence at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami. She currently teaches methods and assessment courses in the Adolescent Special Education program.


 Her research examines the relationship between institutional processes involved in educational decision making for diverse youth at-risk for or placed in special education and the educational and behavioral trajectories of these youth. Dr. Cavendish’s research focuses on identifying the practices and processes in schools and other social institutions (e.g., criminal justice system) that facilitate and support successful transition of youth both into and out of special education in ways that lead to positive outcomes.  Dr. Cavendish’s work has been published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Special Education, Journal of Youth & Adolescence, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, and Journal of Adolescence as well as numerous research reports and book chapters.  She is an active member of the American Educational Research Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the American Society of Criminology.

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