Ohio State Coordinator
Karen Sanders, PhD, OH State Coordinator, has more than 35 years of experience in the field of education and currently serves as Ohio State Coordinator for the Region 8 Comprehensive Center. She is a Senior Research Associate with RMC Research. She has spent much of her career working with Ohio’s education system. In her role as technical assistance provider she draws from her experiences as a teacher of young children with learning disabilities; special education coordinator for an intermediate education unit, various posts within the Ohio Department of Education in the areas of partnerships and public engagement, early childhood education, and special education; and Executive on Loan with Ohio’s Office of the Governor to align policy for children and families under the direction of a sitting governor leading this work for the National Governors’ Association. Prior to her current work in Ohio with the Region 8 Comprehensive Center, Karen played a key technical assistance role with the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center and a supporting role with the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Comprehensive Centers.
Karen has experience with several large-scale evaluation studies. She served as Principal Investigator for Identifying Successful Practices for Students with Disabilities in Ohio Schools, a comparative case study with literature review and field study focused on how policies and practices differ for high performing and lower performing school districts. She also served as Project Lead for the Ohio School Improvement Diagnostic Review Evaluation to study fidelity of implementation, effectiveness, and provide recommendations for improvement of protocols and training for Diagnostic Review Teams. As Team Member for the Evaluation of Ohio’s Statewide Framework for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, she led site visits and case study design for CCLC sites.
Dr. Sanders earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University with a major in Educational Policy & Leadership. Her bachelor and masters degrees are from Bowling Green State University in the area of Special Education. Karen’s professional interests are focused at the intersection of policy, research, and practice. She has expertise in the application of systems thinking to the challenges of contemporary issues in education and has played a leadership role in multiple projects using these methods.