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About John J. Wheeler

Dr. John Wheeler has had over twenty-five years of experience in working with children with autism spectrum disorders and their families throughout his career in special education.  He has served as a Professor, Director, Associate Dean and Dean and has also been active in grant funded projects in the areas of professional development and capacity building through technical assistance to underserved and rural schools. He has authored/co-authored numerous research studies in the education and treatment of children with ASD and serves on a number of editorial boards for professional journals in the field. 


Present Professor, East Tennessee State University Educational Foundations and Special Education, Clemmer College
Present Professor, East Tennessee State University Clemmer College

Curriculum Vitae


2015 - 2016 Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development
TN Higher Education Comissions
Role: Director
2015 - 2016 State Technical Assistance Project
Tennessee Department of Education
Role: Principal Investigator
2014 - 2015 An Evaluation of Student Support Practices Across TBR Institutions and their Perceived Impact on Student Retention and Graduation of Non-Traditional Students with Dependent Children
Tennessee Board of Regents
Research Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
2014 - 2015 Center of Excellence in Early Childhood
TN Higher Education Commission
Role: Director
2014 - 2015 Providing Support to Students with Depending Children to Increase Engagement, Retention, and Success
Tennessee Board of Regents
Student Engagement, Retention, and Success Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2012 - Present Team Member, Tennessee Statewide Autism Summit Team
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Honors and Awards

  • 1987 - Nominated Outstanding Student CEC Member
  • 1988 - Herbert Prehm Award Recipient for Outstanding Graduate Student Research in Mental Retardation, CEC-Division on Mental Retardation
  • 1988-1989 - Dissertation Fellowship Award Recipient, SIU-Carbondale Graduate School, Carbondale, IL
  • 1989 - Outstanding Young Men of America
  • 1991 - Nominated as Outstanding Teacher, University of South Dakota,
  • 1992-1993 - Nominated as Outstanding Teacher, University of South Dakota
  • 1992 - Commendation for Distance Teaching, Recognized by the South Dakota Rural Development Telecommunications Network, State of South Dakota
  • 1996 - Inductee, Herrin High School Athletic Hall of Fame
  • 1996 - Certificate of Recognition for Contribution from the CEC Division on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Austin, TX
  • 1996-1997 - Nominated “Professor of the Year” as recognized by the Panhellinic Council at Tennessee Technological University
  • 1997 - Awarded 1st place for Poster Presentations at the 1997 SEAAMR Meeting, Lousville, KY
  • 1999 - Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching, TTU Mortar Board Society
  • 2000-2001 - Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers
  • 2002 - Recipient, Caplenor Research Award, Tennessee Technological University
  • 2002 - TTU President’s Commendation for Teaching
  • 2005 - Outstanding Presentation Award, IASE Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 2009 - Who’s Who in America
  • 2015 - Outstanding Presentation Award, IASE Conference, Wroclaw, Poland


  • SPED 2300 - Exceptional Learners
  • EDFN 5950 - Research Methods


1989 PhD, Special Education, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
1986 MS, Southern Illinois University
1985 BS, Therapeutic Recreation, Southern Illinois University

Contact Information

PO Box 70547
Johnson City, TN 37614

Office: Warf-Pickel 510
Phone: 423-439-4196


Refereed Articles (49)