Vanessa Tucker

Associate Professor of Education

Vanessa Tucker

Office Location:Hauge Administration Building

  • Professional
  • Biography


  • Ph.D., Special Education, University of Washington, 2009
  • M.Ed., Low Incidence Disabilities, University of Washington, 2003
  • B.A., Elementary Education & Special Education, Western Washington University, 1995

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Functional Behavior Assessment and Positive Behavior
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Functional Communication Strategies
  • Families' Experiences with School Districts
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Inclusion
  • Assessment
  • Exclusionary Tactics in EBD


Vanessa Tucker received her dual certification to teach from Western Washington University in 1995.  She began her career working with children with Emotional and Behavior Disorders and moved into classrooms serving students with high support needs.  She got her M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Seattle in Low Incidence Disabilities in 2003 followed by her a Ph.D. in Low Incidence Disabilities and Applied Behavior Analysis from UW in 2009.  She moved from the classroom into a specialist position in 2004 and coordinated the autism programs in Tacoma Public Schools for 7 years.  She left in 2010 to join the University of Washington, Tacoma as a full time lecturer where she coordinated the Teacher Certification Program.  She joined PLU in 2012 as an assistant professor.  When she isn’t working, she is busy chasing after three children and working in the garden.