Key Professional Appointments

Clinical Associate Professor Special Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993 - present

Awards, Honors, Associations

Outstanding Faculty Award for Public Engagement College of Education, 2018 - 2018

LARINE Y. COWAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AWARDS Advocacy for LGBTQ Affairs Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access, 2017 - 2017

Excellence in Online and Distance Education University of Illinois, 2016 - 2016


Dymond, S., & Bentz, J. (2006). Using digital videos to enhance teacher preparation Teacher Education and Special Education, 29 (2), 98-112.

Pavri, S., Bentz, J., Bradley, J., & Corso, L. (2005). Me amo leer [I love to read]: Reading experiences in a central Illinois summer migrant education program. Language Culture, and Curriculum, 18 (2), 154-163.


Senior Personnel Project MAPLE: Makerspace Promoting Learning and Engagement, National Science Foundation, 2017 - 2019

Senior Personnel I-LLINI Partnerships: Lifelong Learning IN Illinois for 21st Century Teachers, Illinois Board of Higher Education, 2007 - 2011

Fellow AT&T Technology, AT&T Foundation (College of Education), 1999 - 2003


Community Choices Cooperative, 2013 - 2017


The Culture of Disability (SPED 117) The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the culture of disability across the lifespan. The impact of disabilities on an individual across the lifespan will be explored, and the unique culture that is created by having a disability will be addressed. The historical basis for the disability movement and special education will be addressed, including legislation and litigation that has had a significant impact on the field. Students also will learn about the characteristics of individuals with diverse abilities as well as current trends in educational services.This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for: Humanities - Hist & Phil.

Gen Educator's Role in SPED (SPED 405) 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. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.

Equity Issues in Spec Educatio (SPED 514) A graduate-level overview of issues in equity and access for students with disabilities. Historical and legal foundations are reviewed, but the course focus is issues related to characteristics of individuals with disabilities, challenges in instructional service delivery, including of students with special needs in the general curriculum, and transition of students with disabilities to independent living. Participants reflect on issues in light of their own experiences.

Disability Issues in SPED (SPED 517) 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 (SPED 524) 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. 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.

Bentz, Johnell

Assistant Head, Teaching Associate Professor, Special Education



288 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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