College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.


School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

PhD, University of Kansas
Assistant Professor
Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities
Sp Ed: Adapted Curriculum
Special Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Francis

Phone: (703) 993-6064
Fax: (703) 993-3681
Email: gfranci4 (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Finley Building 216
4400 University Dr.
MS 1F2
Fairfax, VA 22030

Research Interests

Disability, Family Support, Family-Professional Partnerships, Transition, Adulthood  

Recent Publications

Francis, G. L., Stride, A., & Reed, A. S. (2018). Transition strategies and recommendations: Perspectives of parents of young adults with disabilities. British Journal of Special Education, 45, 277-301. doi: 10.1111/1467-8578.12232 

Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Magiera, L., Schmalzried, J., Monroe-Gulick, A., & Reed, S. (2018). Supporting students with disabilities, families, and professionals to collaborate during the transition to adulthood. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 54, 71-104. doi: 10.1016/bs.irrdd.2018.07.004

Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., Kyzar, K. B., Aldersey, H. M., & Adams, N. B. (2018). Family-professional partnership with refugee families whose children have disabilities. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 54, 35-70. doi: 10.1016/bs.irrdd.2018.07.002

Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Lavín, C., Casarez, L., & Sheets, N. (2018). Hispanic caregiver’s experiences supporting positive post-school outcomes for young adults with disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 56, 337-353. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-56.5.337

Francis, G. L., Duke, J. M., Brigham, F. J., & Demetro, K. (2018). Student perceptions of college-readiness, college services and supports, and family involvement in college: An exploratory study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 3573-3585. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3622-x

Francis, G. L., Gordon, S., Kliethermes, A. J., Regester, A., Baldini, D., & Grant, A. (2018). Developing and implementing a postsecondary education program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Processes and procedures. The Teacher Educators’ Journal, 11, 134-156.

Gross, J. M. S., Choi, H., & Francis, G. L. (2018). Perceptions of Family Engagement and Support in SWIFT schools. Inclusion, 6, 60-74. doi: 10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.60

Francis, G. L., Stride, A., Reed, S., & Chiu, C. (2017). Family-professional partnerships in postsecondary education settings: Perceptions of professionals. Inclusion, 5(4), 263-278. doi: 10.1352/2326-6988-5.4.263

Francis, G.L., Haines, S. J., & Nagro, S. A. (2017). Developing relationships with immigrant families: Learning by asking the right questions. Teaching Exceptional Children. 50, 95-105. doi:10.1177/0040059917720778

Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., Mueller, T. G., Chiu, C., Burke, M. M., Kyzar, K., …Turnbull, A. P. (2017). Reconceptualizing family-professional partnership for inclusive schools: A call to action. Inclusion, 5(4), 234-247. doi:10.1352/2326-6988-5.4.234

Francis, G. L., & Nagro, S. (2017). The educational system. In Nelson Goff, B.S & Springer, N.P. (eds.) Families and disabilities: A guide for helping professionals. (158-170). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., & Shepherd, K., Ziegler, M., & Mabika, G. (2017). Partnership bound: Using MAPS with transitioning students and families from all backgrounds. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 1-5. Advanced online release: doi: 10.1177/2165143417698123

Francis, G. L. & McMullen, V. (2017, February). Addressing chronic pain: A five-step team approach. Exceptional Parent, 47(2), 41-44.

Francis, G. L., Fuchs, E., Johnson, A. D., Gordon, S., & Grant, A. (2016). Developing parent-professional partnerships in a postsecondary education program for students with disabilities. Psychology in the Schools, 53(10), 1045–1056.

Aldersey, H.M., Francis, G.L., Chiu, C., & Haines, S.J. (2016). Family quality of life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 14, 78-86. doi: 10.1111/jppi.12189

Francis, G.L., Gross, J.M.S., Blue-Banning, M., Haines, S.H., & Turnbull, A.P. (2016). Principals and Parents Achieving Optimal Outcomes: Lessons Learned from Six Inclusive American Schools. Revista Latinoamericana de Inclusión Educativa (Latin American Journal of Inclusive Education), 10(1), 61-77.

Francis, G.L., Blue-Banning, M., Turnbull, A.P, Haines, S.J., & Gross, J.M.S. (2016). The culture of community in inclusive schools: Parental perspectives on family-school partnerships. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51(3), 281-293.

Francis, G.L., Blue-Banning, M., Turnbull, A.P, Haines, S.J., & Gross, J.M.S. (2016). Building “our school:” Parental perspectives for building trusting family-professional partnerships. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 60(4), 329-336.