Mary-alayne Hughes' research interests include families of young children with disabilities and pre-service personnel preparation of individuals (future early interventionists and teachers) who will work with young children with disabilities and their families. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator on a federally-funded personnel preparation grant ("Preparing Culturally Responsive Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Personnel").

Research & Service

As clinical faculty, I do not have a research appointment. However, I am interested in research in the area of personnel preparation. I am currently qualitatively analyzing playgroup practicum data to examine the developmental progression of pre-service playgroup practicum students' competence and confidence in implementing a playgroup intervention approach. In addition, for purposes of monitoring the PREP I students' service obligation, I am coordinating follow-up surveys of funded students who have graduated. In collaboration with Dr. Sungyoon Lee, I have prepared an online follow-up survey regarding the PREP I training, and I anticipate piloting the survey in Summer 2013.


Hopkins, A., Hughes, M., , . Individualized healthcare plans for children with chronic conditions in the classroom. Young Exceptional Children.

Marsili, A., Hughes, M. (2009). Finding Kirk's words: An infant mental health approach to preschool intervention. Young Exceptional Children, 12(2), 2-15.

Cole, S., McCollum, J., Swinford, L., Dewar, G., Hughes, M. (2009). Moving towards relationship-based practices in a crisis nursery setting. Early Child Development and Care, 179(7), 863-877.

Hughes, M., Shaffer, L., Zaghlawan, H. (2008). Inclusive playgroups: Supporting the development of infants and toddlers. Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series Early Intervention for infants and Toddlers and Their Families: Practices and Outcomes. Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children: Missoula, MT, .


Principal InvestigatorPreparing Culturally Responsive Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Personnel (PCRP), U.S. Department of Education, 2017

Principal InvestigatorPreparing Relationship-based Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Personnel (PREP), U.S. Department of Education, 2015

Co-Principal InvestigatorPreparing Relationship-Based Early Intervention Personnel (PREP), U.S. Department of Education, 2010

Co-Principal InvestigatorDeveloping a Community Impact Project to Enhance SPED 338: Families of Children with Special Needs, Community Based Learning Grant, 2005

Senior PersonnelRelationships Project, Cross-Campus Initiative on Promoting Resiliency, 2005

Co-Principal InvestigatorEnhancing Pre-Service Teachers' Resource Family Experience, The Kay Meginnis Endowment for the Enhancement of Special Education Programs, 2004


Young Exceptional Children, 2011 - 9999

Heartland Equity & Inclusion Project State Steering Committee, 2010 - 9999

B-3 Clearinghouse Advisory Board, 2009 - 9999

Journal of Early Intervention, 2003 - 9999

Review Panel Member, U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Focus Area A: EU.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, 2014 - 2014

Illinois Sharing A Vision Conference (SAV) Evaluation, 2007 - 2014

Illinois (IDEC) Sharing A Vision Conference, 2007 - 2014

Illinois (IDEC) Sharing A Vision Conference Planning Committee, 2007 - 2014

Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Core Credential Committee, 2009 - 2012

U.S. Department of Education, 2010 - 2011

Promotion & Tenure -- ReviewerUniversity of Memphis, 2010 - 2010

United Way Success by 6 Social-emotional Work Group, 2006 - 2010

Illinois Division for Early Childhood, 2008 - 2009

Conference proposal reviewer for personnel preparation strand.DEC's International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs, 2008 - 2008

Conference Proposal Reviewr for 2 strands: personnel preparation and administrationCEC Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Conference, 2007 - 2007

Illinois Division for Early Childhood, 2006 - 2007

Birth to Six Council of Families & Agencies (Champaign County LIC, 2005 - 2006

Illinois Division for Early Childhood, 2005 - 2006

Chair, Intervention Strand Proposal ReviewsCEC Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Conference Proposal Reviews, 2005 - 2005

DEC's International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs, 2004 - 2004


Gen Educator's Role in SPED Examination of issues in educating students with special needs: service delivery models, roles of teachers and related service providers, student assessment, curriculum individualization, instructional strategies, management of problem behaviors, and program evaluation. Course Information: 2 or 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 3 graduate hours. Secondary education, foreign language, and agriculture teacher education programs must take the course for 2 hours credit with concurrent registration in SPED 205. Elementary education majors must take the course for 3 hours credit. The 3 hour course will include content on characteristics of students with disabilities, and eligibility and referral to special education. Prerequisite: SPED 117 for 3 hour course; concurrent registration in SPED 205 for the 2 hour course or consent of instructor. Must be registered in teachers certification program.

Assessment in ECSE Practice in designing and applying assessment devices and procedures and in using them to make educational decisions for children with special needs, birth through kindergarten age. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: Credit or concurrent registration in SPED 524 or consent of instructor.

Collaborating with Families The impact of children with special needs on their families; models for the study of family systems are applied to understanding families of children with special needs; emphasis on planning family-focused interventions and exploring strategies for working with parents in a variety of settings. Course Information: 3 or 4 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Practicum experience or consent of instructor.

Introduction to ECSE Overview of the history, trends, and issues of the field of Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) with particular attention to federal and state policy, service system models, and professional roles and ethics. Emphasis is on current research, theory, and practice. Course Information: 2 undergraduate hours. 2 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Disability Issues in SPED Overview of special education at the graduate level. Focus is placed on issues related to: assessment, identification, and characteristics across all disability areas. The greatest emphasis is placed on strategies for including students with disabilities in the general curriculum. Historical and legal perspectives that provide the foundation for special education are discussed.

Supervised Prac in SPED Supervised practice in one or more settings in which students with mild to severe disabilities are served; practicum settings may include day, residential, special, and regular schools which serve students with disabilities. Course Information: Additional fees may apply. See Class Schedule. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated in same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in special education; consent of supervising faculty member. Class Schedule Information: Student teaching fee required. A per hour fee will be charged. The fee is determined by the yearly total rate approved by the Board of Trustees.

Interdisciplinary Teaming Study of roles and functions of teams in early intervention and special education service delivery; considers models of team process within and between service settings; explores dynamics of interaction on teams, including approaches to decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution; examines professional roles and tasks of team members in the intervention process.

Leadership in ECSE Program issues and research on the efficacy of various program models for young children with special needs from infancy to six; implications for program organization variables such as space, personnel roles, and curriculum Course Information: Prerequisite: SPED 465 and concurrent enrollment in SPED 524, or consent of instructor.

Individual Differences: B to 6 Examines major developmental themes in young children from birth to six. Emphasizes individual differences resulting from environmental and biological factors that influence development, including those resulting from disabilities. Focuses on integration among multiple domains of development. Course Information: Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Mary-alayne Hughes

Clinical Associate Professor, Special Education



260F Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820