Paula Kohler

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Dr. Paula Kohler is Project Co-Principal Investigator at Western Michigan University and Professor and Interim Chair in the Department of Educational Studies and previously a senior research associate with the Transition Research Institute at the University of Illinois. Dr. Kohler is recognized for her research regarding effective transition practices for youth with disabilities, including effective transition programs, transition-related competencies, career and technical education experiences, work-based education, and other aspects of transition-focused education. Her Taxonomy for Transition Programming is recognized around the United States as an effective model for planning, implementing, and evaluating transition-focused education for students with disabilities, and has influenced the implementation of transition services in a number of states. Dr. Kohler has extensive experience in curriculum and professional development activities focused on linking this research with practice at the state, regional, and local levels. In addition, Dr. Kohler has worked extensively with model demonstration projects and local agencies implementing self-determination curricula; and has conducted numerous focus groups of students with disabilities regarding their educational experiences and transition planning. Dr. Kohler has a background in business administration, educational leadership, career and technical education, and special education. In April 2001, Dr. Kohler received the Oliver P. Kolstoe award from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Career Development and Transition in recognition for her contributions through research and scholarship; and in 2005 the WMU College of Education's research recognition award.