- Ph.D. in educational psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- M.Ed. in special education, Bowling Green State University
- B.S. in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, Bowling Green State University
Dr. Deborah L. Speece has conducted non-experimental and experimental studies concerned with understanding variables that place children at risk for reading disabilities and interventions that may ameliorate that risk. She is currently interested in designing studies that examine the intersection of practice and research, and how the two can inform each other to improve outcomes for children and their families.
Speece came to VCU from the University of Maryland College of Education, where she was a professor of special education. She also served as the commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research at the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, where she was responsible for the national research agenda for special education.
As the associate dean for research and faculty development for the School of Education, Speece is responsible for promoting the scholarly agenda of the school through education and awareness of research opportunities, individual work with faculty and grant development.
Her research has been federally funded and is regularly published in the leading journals for special education and educational psychology. Speece serves on the editorial boards of several journals and has co-edited two volumes on learning disabilities. She is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Research on Learning Disabilities.