College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Sarah Nagro
Ed.D., Johns Hopkins University
Assistant Professor
Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities
Sp Ed: General Curriculum
Special Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Nagro

Phone: (703) 993-1747
Fax: (703) 993-3681
Email: snagro (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Finley Building 222
4400 University Dr.
MS 1F2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Sarah A. Nagro earned her doctorate in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University and is currently an assistant professor at George Mason University in the School of Education Division of Special Education and Disability Research. Her research focuses on determining best practices for teacher education in special education. Specifically, she focuses on understanding effective approaches to preparing profession-ready teachers through meaningful field-based experiences that emphasize reflection, self-evaluation, and professional buy-in using technology enhanced and video-based activities. Sarah is interested in understanding how to help teacher candidates and novice teachers find success when educating students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms with the goal of retaining high quality professionals.

Since arriving at GMU, Dr. Nagro secured internal and external funding to support her scholarship and focus in teacher education including $2,083,114 as Principle Investigator and $2,921,069 as Co-PI. Her externally funded work allowed her to work towards a system of partnerships with leaders in early childhood and school-age special education arenas in order to build and sustain capacity of quality programs. More specifically, the grants: (a) promoted the use of evidence-based practices, (b) fostered collaboration between interventionists, services providers, agencies, and school and community programs, (c) provided professional development and resources to school, district, and regional personnel, and (d) built the capacity of systems and programs to provide supports and services and expand and enhance inclusive programs. The internal awards have been specific to Dr. Nagro's technology enhanced field experience research. The GMU awards have allowed for a link between teacher preparation research and PK-12 student outcomes. Most recently, Dr. Nagro received funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for "Policy and Research Intensive Special Educators" (PRISE) Doctoral Training Program in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Nagro is looking to recruit six doctoral students to start fall, 2020 in a full-time GMU doctorate program focusing on linking research to policy to target the special education teacher shortage. All six students will receive full scholarship and much more. To learn about this program visit The application deadline is January 15th, 2019. 

Dr. Nagro is an Executive Board Member for the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and Higher Education Consortium for Special Education (HECSE). She received the Quantitative Research Award (2015) from Kaleidoscope at the CEC Annual Conference, TED’s Dissertation Award (2015), the Outstanding Student Research Award (2016) from the Special Education Research SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the Outstanding Dissertation Award (2017) from the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). Most recently, Sarah received the TED Early Career Publication Award (2019). 

Research Interests
  • Special Education Teacher Education
  • Field Experiences
  • Reflective Practice
  • Technology EnhancedTeacher Prepaparation Activies
  • Video-Based Teacher Prepaparation Activies
  • Preparing Teacher Candidates for Inclusive Settings
  • Preparing Teacher Canidates to Teach Reading and Math to Students with High Incidence Disabilities 
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Experimental and Quasi-experimental Group Design Research