Diane Gifford

Clinical Associate Professor

Department of Teaching & Learning

Dr. Diane Gifford


Ph.D., Southern Methodist University


6401 Airline Rd
Suite 301
Dallas, 75205



Dr. Diane Gifford is a clinical associate professor in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. In 2013, she earned her Ph.D. in Educational Research with a focus on literacy and, in particular, specific reading comprehension deficits in children. During her doctoral studies at SMU, she was one of ten chosen nationwide for the Council of Exceptional Children’s Division of Research Outstanding Doctoral Student Scholars for 2010. She also holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Arlington.

Prior to coming to SMU, Dr. Gifford spent over 18 years as a classroom teacher and administrator in the Dallas, Texas, area. As the Director of Curriculum at a school of over 800 children in preschool through Grade 8, she instituted academic programs, provided professional development opportunities, mentored teachers, and supervised the administering of benchmarks and continuous progress monitoring indicators, guiding subsequent interventions for at risk students in both reading and mathematics.

Currently, Dr. Gifford teachers graduate and undergraduate classes in literacy and learning at SMU. Additionally, she has worked on several grants and special projects, including Project Intensity (see http://www.projectintensity.com), the istation Formative Assessment Project and istation Teacher Resources Project, and most recently, working to develop ways in which to advance literacy learning in adult non-readers.

Dr. Gifford received her B.A. in Elementary Education at Southern Methodist University in 1982. In fact, she was a member of the last class to receive this degree before it was dropped as a major field of study. Over the years, she has watched as a new and dynamic Simmons School of Education and Human Development has moved to the forefront of research, evidence-based teaching and instruction, and policy development. She is proud and honored to be a part of the Simmons School and its mission of Changing Minds in the 21st century.


Allor, J., Gifford, D. B., Jones, F. J., Al Otaiba, S., Yovanoff, P., Ortiz, M., & Cheatham, J. (in preparation). The effects of a text-centered supplemental curriculum for students with intellectual disability. 

Jones, F. J., Gifford, D. B., Yovanoff, P., Al Otaiba, S., Levy, D., & Allor, J. (accepted for publication). Alternate assessment formats for progress monitoring students with intellectual disabilities and below average intellectual quotients: An exploratory study. Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Ketterlin-Geller, L.R., Gifford, D. B., & Perry, L. (2015). Measuring middle school students’ algebra readiness: Examining validity evidence for experimental measures. Assessment for Effective Intervention, July, 1-13. DOI 10.1177/1534508415586545

Allor, J. H., Gifford, D. B., Al Otaiba, S., Miller, S. J., & Cheatham, J. P.  (2013). Teaching students with intellectual disability to integrate reading skills: Effects of Text and Text-Based Lessons. Remedial and Special Education, 34, 346-356. DOI 10.1177/0741932513494020.

Allor, J. H., Champlin, T. M., Gifford, D. B., & Mathes, P. G. (2010). Methods for increasing the intensity of reading instruction for students with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45, 500-511.

Non-refereed Publications

Gifford, D. B. (2013). Identifying specific comprehension deficits in children. (Order No. 3566599, Southern Methodist University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 216. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1417048050?accountid=6667. (1417048050).