Personal profile

Research Interests

Jessica Hardy’s research focuses on evidence-based practices for teaching young children with disabilities.  She has conducted research on the use of systematic instruction to support preschool children in learning early math skills, such as counting, patterning, and classification (Hardy & Hemmeter, 2019; Hardy, in submission).  She also has published research on the use of interventions to support children’s literacy skills (McLeod, Kaiser, & Hardy, 2019; McLeod, Hardy, & Kaiser, 2017; Ledford, Barton, Hardy, Elam, Seabolt, Shanks, Hemmeter, & Kaiser, 2016). These are critical areas in need of continued research to better illuminate how we can best support young children in learning these important skills, which have been found to be predictive of later school achievement.

Jessica also studies the use of coaching as a professional development approach to supporting preschool teachers’ use of evidence-based practices.  She has published several articles related to coaching (McLeod, Hardy, & Grifenhagen, 2019; Hemmeter, Hardy, Schnitz, Adams, & Kinder, 2015) and is a co-author of a measure of coaching quality that has been used in multiple IES-funded studies.

Jessica uses a variety of research methodologies and is interested in using experimental single-case research design to examine causal relationships, such as in a recent line of research around the impact of diverse children’s literature on children’s engagement in literacy activities (Hardy, Pennington, Griffin, & Jacobi-Vessels, 2020; Hardy, Pennington, Rogers, & Yao, in submission).

Jessica also values the dissemination of research to practitioners and has published a number of practitioner-oriented articles (Hardy & McLeod, 2020; Hardy & Hemmeter, 2019; McLeod, Artman-Meeker, & Hardy, 2017), book chapters (Hardy, Hawkins, Hemmeter, & Grisham-Brown, 2017; Hardy & Hemmeter, 2014), and modules (Hardy, Brown, Skow, & the IRIS Center, 2015; The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements, 2014).

Jessica is the recent recipient of a Hardie Faculty Fellows Award, which will support her continued research in systematic instruction in early math skills for children with disabilities.

Please see the Hardy Lab website for more information.


Ph.D., Early Childhood Special Education, Vanderbilt University, 2014

M.Ed., Unified Early Childhood Education, University of Florida, 2004

B.A.E, Unified Early Childhood Education, University of Florida, 2003

Honors & Awards

Marissa Zelinger Research Award, 2021-2022

Hardie Faculty Fellow, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020

Nystrand-Offutt Scholar, College of Education and Human Development, University of Louisville, 2019

Academic Service

Guest Reviewer, Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2022

Editorial Review Board Member, Young Exceptional Children, 2021 - present

Guest Reviewer, Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 2021 - present

Guest Reviewer, Early Childhood Education Journal, 2020 - present

Guest Reviewer, Young Exceptional Children, 2019 - 2021

Treasurer, Division for Early Childhood, 2018 - 2022

Editorial Review Board Member, Rural Special Education Quarterly, 2018 - present

Membership Coordinator, Kentucky Division for Early Childhood, 2017 - 2019

Editorial Review Board Member, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 2016 - present

Co-Chair, DEC Challenging Behavior Position Statement Revision Committee, 2016 - 2017

Guest Reviewer, Journal of Early Intervention, 2013 - present

Planning Committee Member, Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, 2013-2014



  • L Education
  • early childhood special education
  • evidence-based practices
  • single-case research methodology
  • coaching
  • inclusion
  • math assessment and instruction
  • engagement
  • social-emotional learning


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