Nicole Ofiesh, Ph.D. is a cognitive behavioral scientist with expertise in learning disorders, attention and autism spectrum disorders. She intersects this knowledge with an understanding of context and culture to research and teach how people learn as individuals. With a focus on "the missing middle" the time between high school and retirement, she believes teaching an understanding of how cognition and the brain is associated with learning and performance is critical to preparing learners for the needs of the 21st and 22nd centuries. Her early research on the science of test accommodations, speed and reading fluency brought her to her current research on universally designed assessment and self-awareness of learning and cognition. She has been in hundreds of classrooms over the years teaching and mentoring preservice teachers and collaborating on individual education plans.
Currently she is Chief Innovation Officer of Potentia Institute where she is working on the development of tech tools designed to generate a personalized understanding of the brain and executive functioning that will help individuals identify and leverage their strengths across the lifespan. She is the former Executive Director of the Stanford Schwab Learning Center and UDL Innovation Studio at Stanford, a hub where researchers, faculty, students, and technology developers can employ design thinking to meet the needs of the widest population of people. At Stanford she teaches a course on Neurodiversity and Design Thinking in the School of Medicine and has recently taught MA research courses in the Department of Educational Psychology at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Ofiesh is the author of Teaching for the Lifespan (Corwin, 2016), six book chapters on learning disorders and author of over 25 peer reviewed journal articles. She is a regularly invited keynote speaker.
She has held faculty and research positions at Stanford University, Penn State University, Providence College, University of Arizona and Notre Dame de Namur University, where she was Program Director of Special Education and Department Chair of Teacher Education. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Learning Disabilities and has served as an expert to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights in the area of learning disabilities and test accommodations. Her work in that role influenced federal guidance on the provision of test accommodations for individuals with disabilities. She believes that all individuals should thrive across the lifespan, not simply survive.
Education and Training:
Ph.D., Special Education, Penn State University, Specialization on high school and postsecondary students with learning disorders. Post-graduate studies: Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Palo Alto, CA
M.A., Special Education, San Francisco State University
Certificate in Educational Therapy, San Francisco State University
CA Education Specialist teaching credential, San Francisco State University
CA Community Colleges, Learning Disabilities Eligibility Model, Chancellor's Office
BA, Psychology, California State University, Sacramento
Because individuals should thrive, not simply survive.
Nicole Ofiesh, Ph.D. , LLC, 2013, All Rights Reserved