Dr. Jessi Harkins is an assistant professor and program chair of the Master of Arts in Special Education program in the College of Education at Ashford University. She has worked in the field of developmental disabilities, behavior analysis, and education for over 16 years. Originally from Wisconsin, Dr. Harkins earned her PhD in Special Education with graduate emphasis in Educational Psychology, Behavior Analysis, and Autism Research and Leadership from the University of North Texas; her MEd in Special Education with emphasis in Autism Intervention and Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas; and her BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has served as therapist, treatment center program coordinator, staff trainer, associate consultant, consultant, and special education teacher. In addition to special education, student and family advocacy, and higher education instruction, Dr. Harkins specializes in intervention, research, and leadership for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, their families, and their educators. She says, “My philosophy is that all students can learn. This applies to all students served under special education eligibilities, as well as all students of education seeking a degree to teach our youth. Teach those who will teach how to teach using evidence-based methods and empathy, and so many lives will be changed as a result.” Dr. Harkins lives in North Texas with her children, faithful dachshunds, and mischievous cats. She enjoys traveling, hiking, spending time outdoors, and the culinary and visual arts.
Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education, Graduate Emphasis in Educational Psychology / Behavior Analysis / Systematic Training for Autism Researchers and School Personnel
University of North Texas
Master of Arts in Special Education, Graduate Certificates in Autism Intervention / Behavior Analysis