female silhouette of head and shoulders

Colleen E. Tapley, Ed.D.

Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor

School of Education
Curriculum and Instruction
Coburn Hall, Room 240F


Special education; improving educator pedagogy; improving educators cultural intelligence; diversity & inclusion trainer; competency based education

Research Interests

Disproportionate discipline rates; Teacher attitudes towards students; The impact of traditional study abroad and virtual international exchange experiences on preservice teachers’ cultural intelligence; Supporting education systems in developing countries; The social solidarity economy and education.


Ed.D.: Leadership and Learning: Dissertation Title: An Analysis of Teacher Response to Students Based on White Racial Identity Status and Attitudes (2016), Rivier University, Nashua, NH
M.Ed.: Educational Administration: Thesis Title: The Creation of a Comprehensive Transition Program for Successful Middle School Transition (2007), Rivier University, Nashua, NH
BA.: Education, Elementary (K-6) and Special Education (K-12), (2002), Rivier University, Nashua, NH


Colleen Tapley, Ph.D., has worked for over twenty years in the field of education and has experience at the elementary, middle and administrative levels, as well as in special education. Tapley is passionate about improving educator pedagogy through innovative research-based practices. Her research interests include issues of equity and access, disproportionate discipline rates and improving educators' cultural intelligence through both traditional and virtual study abroad experiences.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Delegate for Oxford University Oxford International Round Table Symposium: Educational Trends and Issues, Oxford University, 2023
  • Excellence in Advising Award, Southern New Hampshire University 2019
  • Nominated for Excellence in Teaching Southern New Hampshire University 2016, 2018, 2022
  • Awarded Distinction for Dissertation and Defense Rivier University 2016

Selected Publications

  • Tapley, C. (2016). “An Analysis of Teacher Response to Students Based on White Racial Identity Status and Attitudes.” Dissertation.
  • Clamp & Tapley (April 2023) Social Solidarity Economy and the Education Sector. IN Yi, I. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social and Solidarity Economy. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

Selected Presentations

  • “Maximizing Project Based Learning for Neurodiverse Learners”at the Eurasia Conference on Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Education in October 2023
  • “Engaging Preservice Teachers in Project Based Learning to Improve Pedagogy and Student Outcomes” and “Liberatory Design Thinking and Virtual International Exchange as a Tool for Dismantling Inequities in Education and Improving Cultural Intelligence” at the Oxford International Roundtable on Education July 2023
  • “Preparing Preservice Teachers to Solve for Inequities Using Liberatory Design” University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching (Collective Transformation: How Blended and Online Learning Have Changed Postsecondary Education), 2023
  • “Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Implement Project Based Learning” Belize International Symposium on Education, 2023
  • “Designing for Equity in a Virtual Environment: How Faculty from Spain and America Created Partnership to Disrupt Inequities in Education” at the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, 2022
  • “Strategies for Inclusive Discipline Focusing on Social Emotional Growth” at the Innovative Schools Summit, 2022
  • “Education and the Social Solidarity Economy” CIRIEC International Congress, 2022
  • “Supporting Special Education Students During Learning Disruptions” at Council for Administrators of Special Education in November 2020 Attending ASCD Trauma Symposium October, 2020
  • “Teacher Identity and Attitudes: Strategies for Disrupting Inequity in Education” at the 2018 National Summit for Educational Equity
  • “Who Am I? Exploring Learner Identity and Biases to Disrupt Inequity in Education” at the 2017 Learner Research Network International Conference

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Improving Student Engagement Through a Learning Fellows Initiative- Davis Educational Foundation, Southern New Hampshire University, 2018