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USM Faculty Walter Kimball

Dr. Walter H. Kimball


"Be prepared to put your knowledge and skills to use through applied projects."

Degrees Held:

  • MS in special education – University of Kentucky, 1978
  • PhD in special education – The Ohio State University, 1983

Career Highlights:

  • Special education teacher and director
  • USM faculty, teaching general education and special education courses
  • Published in professional journals; topics include school-university partnerships, student assessment, technology, and teacher preparation
  • Assistive technology federal grant director
  • Federal and state personnel preparation grant recipient

In which online degree program do you teach?


  • Which class(es) do you teach online?

    • SED 518: Targeted and Individualized Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities
    • SED 653: Assessment in Special Education
    • SED 682: Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and the IEP Team
    • SED 627: Advanced Response to Intervention Instruction and Assessment for Reading
    • SED 625: Advanced Response to Intervention Instruction and Assessment for Mathematics
    • SED 699: Special Education Research Capstone
  • What do you want students to take away from your classes?

    • A continuing commitment to teaching, serving, and advocating for students with and without disabilities, supported by evidence-based instructional practices
    • A continuing commitment to collaborating with professionals and families to best serve students with and without disabilities
  • Why are you interested in education? What drew you to this field?

    Education in this democracy is a right. I wanted to be a teacher who could bring the best professional and legal knowledge to my work to ensure that any student realizes that right, particularly students likely to be disenfranchised.

  • What qualities make someone particularly successful as a teacher?

    Good intentions and good practices, a commitment to thinking about what you are doing and continuing improvement, a sense of “other”—being aware of and acting upon what is happening with your students. My philosophy of teaching in 12 words: What does this student need, and what can I do about it?

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge that educators face today?

    Ensuring that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, equal protection under the law, pertains to the education of all students.

  • What advice would you give to those considering a USM online education program?

    Be prepared to put your knowledge and skills to use through applied projects.

  • Why did you start teaching?

    [ I'm ] doing my best to be part of the joy and success that learning brings to students.

  • What is the one book you think everyone should read?

    “Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America” by Mike Rose

  • Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know about you.

    My first teaching job in 1978 did not go well. I had a lot of improving to do. I had a choice: get better at something I loved or leave teaching. I chose the former, and 42 years later, here I am—never for a second regretting that choice.

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