Cathy Semnoski

  • Associate Teaching Professor
  • Special Education
  • Phone: 540.729.7019
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Chafee Hall, Rm 606


Cathy Semnoski has taught in the URI M.A. Program in Special Education and undergraduate programs since 2014. Prior to joining URI, she taught as a special education teacher in Stafford County and Chesapeake, Virginia, and East Lyme, Connecticut. She has taught courses on positive behavioral supports, assessment in special education, educational psychology, teaching students with severe disabilities, teaching students with mild disabilities, intro to special education interventions in math and other content areas, literacy and language development, inclusive practices, leadership and program management, collaboration and co-teaching and including students with disabilities in general education settings. Cathy also supervises and mentors graduate and undergraduate students during their final internship in local public schools.

Cathy is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children. She has presented at local, regional, and national conferences on her teaching and research projects, and has published a book chapter. Cathy is also faculty sponsor of the URI CEC student organization.

Cathy lives in East Lyme, Connecticut with her husband, 4 sons and 3 dogs.


  • Family-centered practices in special education
  • Inclusion
  • Co-teaching
  • Preparation of special education teachers


  • M.Ed., Special Education, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA, 2011
  • Graduate Certificate in Autism, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, 2013
  • B.S., Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, 1992

Selected Publications


Moore, A. & Semnoski, C. (2016). Improving special education teacher candidate collaboration with families through mentorship. In K. Peno, E. Silva Mangiante, and R. Kenahan, (Eds.) Mentoring in Formal and Informal Contexts, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


Refereed National Presentations:

Moore, A., Semnoski, C., & Eichinger, J. (2015, November). Parent simulations: Using a real parent to prepare teacher candidates for family-centered practices. Research presented at the Teacher Education Division (of The Council for Exceptional Children), Tempe, AZ.

Moore, A., Semnoski, C., & Eichinger, J. (2015, November). Preparing special educators for the interview process: What teacher educators can do. A presentation at the Teacher Education Division (of The Council for Exceptional Children), Tempe, AZ.

Refereed Regional Presentations:

Moore, A. Semnoski, C. (2015, April). Teaching inclusion to future special educators: Parent simulations to promote family-centered practices. A research paper presented at New England Education Research Organization (NEERO), Portsmouth, NH.

Moore, A. Semnoski, C. (2015, April). More than lip service:  Implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in a teacher education course. A poster presentation at New England Education Research Organization (NEERO), Portsmouth, NH.

Local Presentations

Brand, S., Moore, A., Semnoski, C., & Brand, J. (2015, October). Profiling, marginalization, and exclusion in the 21st century: challenges and solutions. A presentation at the 19th Annual URI Diversity Week.

Invited Campus Presentations

Semnoski, C. (2015, February). Dual roles: Teaching special education as parent. A presentation in URI EDS 501: Co-Teaching & Collaboration.