Charles A. Hughes, PhD

Charlie Hughes is Professor of Special Education at the Pennsylvania State University and an Adjunct Senior Scientist at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (KU-CRL) Prior to coming to Penn State in 1985, Charlie worked in schools for 14 years as a general and special education teacher, a state-level consultant, and an educational diagnostician. He received his Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Florida under the supervision of Dr. Cecil Mercer and his M.Ed. in Special Education and Social Studies Education from Eastern Kentucky University. His research interests focus on the development and validation of self-instructional strategies designed to help students with learning and behavior problems improve their academic and classroom behaviors. He has published over 100 articles, books, book chapters, and curriculum materials.  As part of his work with the KUCRL, he has co-authored, with Don Deshler and Jean Schumaker, five of the learning strategies included in the SIM curriculum. He has served as both President and Executive Director of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Learning Disabilities and as editor of the journals, Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disabilities and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. He currently is on the editorial boards of six educational journals.  Charlie has received several awards for his teaching and research including the College of Education’s Outstanding Faculty award and the Career Achievement Award and has received Fulbright Awards to Sweden and South Korea.


Charlie grew up a ‘Navy Brat’ but settled in Northern California where he lived until moving to Kentucky – then North Carolina and Florida.  He enjoys traveling, reading, playing poker, racquetball, and golf with friends.  He plays guitar in the band, “The Grateful SPLED,” which is made up of Special Education Professors from Penn State.  He is very proud of his two children, his daughter who works with adults with disabilities and is a photographer whose works have been exhibited in the Boston area, and his son who has worked on two political campaigns and is currently a Corps Member for Teach for America.


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