Deborah Yost, Ph.D.

Olney Hall 235

I am currently serving as a professor in the education department at La Salle University. My area of expertise is special education. I hold dual certification in elementary (K-8) and special education (K-12) in Connecticut and New York. I have worked primarily as a special education teacher for students with various disabilities for several years in Connecticut (learning disabilities, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorders, emotional/behavioral disorders, autism, pervasive developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities). I also served as a behavioral and pre-referral consultant for a school district in which I worked with teachers on strategies to prevent referrals to special education. I worked, for a short time, as an educational diagnostician for Newington Children’s Hospital in Connecticut. Prior to entering a doctoral program in special education I was an educational consultant for a firm in New York City and New Haven, CT working with high school students with learning disabilities as they transitioned from high school to college. I entered a doctoral program at the University of Connecticut in 1991 and graduated with a Ph.D. in special education in 1996.

After working for two years as an assistant professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, I accepted a position at La Salle in 1996. La Salle truly fit all that I was looking for in a teacher education program, due to its emphasis on a combined elementary and special education program, urban education, and a mission that prepares preservice and inservice teachers to confidently teach ALL students. I have published many articles in the areas of teacher education, behavior management, teacher leadership, and most recently the research I have conducted on the Writers Matter Program, which is an approach to writing instruction that stimulates adolescent motivation, confidence, and interest in writing. The Writers Matter program, implemented in numerous Philadelphia area schools, serves over 1,000 students. I am co-authoring a book on the approach with Dr. Vogel and Dr. Lewinski of La Salle’s education department and writing an article on the research outcomes of this approach. I have also presented at conferences for organizations such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Middle School Association (NMSA) and the National Professional Development School Association. I am currently a member of the faculty senate and the University assessment committees. As well, I have served as chairperson of the Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee, and chairperson of the Education Department.

Special Education, Assessment, and Universal Design for Learning
Teacher Education Reform
Teacher Leadership

Ph.D., Special Education, University of Connecticut
M.A., Special Education, University of Connecticut
B.A., Elementary Education (K-8), Special Education (K-12), Saint Joseph College (CT)

Assessment (graduate)
Implementing the IEP in the Inclusive Classroom (graduate)
Assessment, Accommodations, and Adaptations for Students with Disabilities (undergraduate)


Yost, D.S., & Vogel, R. (2012). Writing Matters to urban middle school students. Middle School Journal, (4), 40-48.

Liang, L., Ebenezer, J., & Yost, D. (2010). Characteristics of pre-service teachers’ online discourse: Study of local streams.Journal of Science Education and Technology 19 (1), pp. 69-79.

Yost, D.S., Vogel, R., & Liang, L. (2009). Embedded teacher leadership: Support for a site-based model of professional development. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 12(4), 409-433.

Book Chapters

Yost, D.S., & Soslau, E. (2009). School-based service-learning as action research. In T. Kelshaw, F. Lazarus, and J. Minier (Eds.), Partnerships for Service-Learning: Impacts on Communities and Students (pp.206-234). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Yost, D.S. & Vogel, R. (2008). Urban professional development: Working to create successful teachers and achieving students. In M.M Casky (Ed.), Middle Level Research Annual (pp. 39-48). Westerville, OH: The Middle School Association.

Book in Process

Yost, D.S., & Vogel, R. (2011). Writers Matter: A motivational approach to writing instruction for students in grades 5-12.Under review by Corwin Press.

Recent Presentations

Yost, D.S., & Vogel, R. (November, 2010). Writers Matter: Voices of Teens. Presentation for the National Middle School Association, Baltimore, MD.

Yost, D.S., & Vogel, R. (November, 2007). AYP or bust: How the teacher leader model increases student achievement. Presentation for the National Middle School Association, Houston, TX.

Yost, D.S. (2007). Constructing and Evaluating a Teacher Leader Model of Professional Development that Leads to Student Achievement, Paper proposal submitted to the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, Ill, April 7-13, 2007.

Current Grant

Researcher: Writing Matters: Primary researcher on the Writing Matters, Urban Writing Project (2006-present).