Dr. Jodi Robledo: A Passionate Advocate for Special Education

By David Ogul

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Ever since Dr. Jodi Robledo began tutoring students with disabilities as part of her high school service-learning program, she has been dedicated to understanding how individuals with disabilities learn and the most effective ways to teach them.

Today, Robledo – an associate professor in Special Education at Cal State San Marcos who also serves as coordinator of the Special Education Credential Program and Master’s Degree option – is passing on her knowledge and research to new generations of special education teachers.

“I am passionate about shaping future teachers to work with and support individuals with disabilities and their families within inclusive environments,” she said.

Robledo earned her Master’s of Education in Special Education and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, with a focus on autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities, from the University of San Diego, where she co-founded the university’s Autism Institute. She also worked for the San Diego Unified School District as a special education teacher and autism specialist before coming to CSUSM in 2011.

“Our teacher candidates are being employed in this region and are therefore directly impacting it,” she said. “School districts specifically recruit our candidates because of the experiences they receive in our program.”

Robledo, who has published extensively, said she is especially proud of presenting the voice of individuals with autism spectrum disorder in her research.

She came to CSUSM because of the reputation of its Special Education program. She hasn’t been disappointed.

“The support I have received from CSUSM has been amazing,” Robledo reflected. “Faculty, administration, everyone has made me feel like my work is important and valued.”

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