Joe Cook

Teaching Assistant Professor
Special & Early Childhood Education


Director of Special Education and Pupil Services | UW-Eau Claire (2015)

Board Certification in Special Education | AASEP (2012)

Cross-categorical Special Education Licensure | CESA 7 (2011)

Master of Education in Special Education | UW Oshkosh (2001)

Teacher Licensure: Special Education LD PK-12 | UW Oshkosh (1997)

Bachelor of Science in Education: Rehabilitation Psychology | UW-Madison (1995)


Areas of Expertise:
Special education eligibility and IEP development
Post-Secondary Transition
Special Education Finance


Mr. Cook spent 19 years teaching special education in grades 7-12 in the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District, where he also chaired the district's first RTI committee in grades K-6. Additional responsibilities included serving as an LEA representative at special education meetings and assisting the special education director with DPI audits. In 2007, he was named "Teacher of the Year" by Saukville Wal-Mart. In 2012-13 and fall 2014 he served as co-interim or interim special education director.

From 2016 - 2020, Mr. Cook was the special education director in Reedsville. While director, he completed the DPI Procedural Self-Compliance audit, coordinated with Kimberly Welk, LLC, to provide in-district mental health services, co-founded a countywide mental health consortium of all six school districts and the United Way, was co-author of a successful proposal for DPI's competitive School-Based Mental Health Services Grant program, and recruited and hired the district's first school social worker.

Mr. Cook's employment at UW Oshkosh began in 1995 when he served as a research assistant for the Learning Disabilities Eligibility Criteria Study, which examined over 1,000 LD evaluations from a random sample of school districts across Wisconsin for its compliance with federal regulations. Results of the study led to the restitution of $52 million of federal special education flow-through funds. He was the initial analyst of over 500 records, co-wrote the final report submitted to DPI and OSEP, and co-developed the DPI-sponsored curriculum training that was disseminated to all districts in Wisconsin as a result of the study. He began as a lecturer for the special education department in the fall of 2002 and in 2005 was selected by students to receive the "Appreciated Professor" award. In 2009, he received the Professor for a Day award in recognition of his contributions to the field of education. He became full-time instructional academic staff in February 2020.

Mr. Cook's interests include special education law and promoting outcomes for students with disabilities through substantive compliance and implementation of special education service delivery.

Date of First Employment at UW Oshkosh: Fall 1995

Years of PK-12 Experience: 22.5