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School of Arts and Sciences

J. Kaye Cupples, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Special Education
Director, Special Education Programs

Pictured is J. Kaye Cupples, associate professor of special education.Contact information


  • Bachelor of Arts, Speech Science, University of Pittsburgh
  • Master of Arts, Speech Pathology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Master of Education, Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, University of Pittsburgh
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Deafness/Special Education, University of Pittsburgh
  • Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility, Advanced Graduate Study, Westminster College

Courses Taught

  • Special Education and Inclusive Practices (undergraduate)
  • Special Education Inclusive Practices (graduate)
  • Selected Topics in Special Education
  • Differentiated Instructional Practices
  • Case Studies in Special Education Law


Joseph Kaye Cupples, Ph.D., is an associate professor of special education and director of the special education programs at Point Park University. Prior to Point Park, Cupples served as an adjunct professor in deafness/hard of hearing at the University of Pittsburgh and, most recently, as the executive director of special education and student services in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. During his career of 35 years in the Pittsburgh Public School District, he served in a variety of both teaching and administrative capacities including but not limited to speech pathologist, special education supervisor, assistant director of special education, director of special education and executive director of both special education and student services.

Most recently, Cupples has launched a transition program called C.I.T.Y. Connections, which stands for "creating individualized transitions for youth." The program is for significantly disabled individuals, ages 17-21, who have graduated from Pittsburgh Public Schools and would like to experience life on a college campus while being mentored by Point Park undergraduate and graduate education students. In addition to his work at Point Park, Cupples also serves as consultant and mentor with the special education director and teaching staff at the Summit Academy in Butler, Pa.

Professional Certifications

Pennsylvania Department of Education Certifications
  • Superintendent
  • Supervisor - Special Education, Level II
  • Speech Pathology, Level II
  • Hearing Impaired, Level II
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Professional Licenses
  • Speech and Language Pathology
  • Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Certificate of Clinical Competence - Speech Pathology
Council on Education of the Deaf
  • Elementary Education

Selected Presentations and Published Work

  • "Chapter 49 Changes and Updates in PA Teacher Preparation," Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers State Convention, June 2011.
  • "The Intersection of IDEA and NCLB," Pennsylvania Bar Association Annual Meeting, Oct. 2004.
  • "The Therapeutic Classroom Model," The Special Education Urban Collaborative, May 2003.
  • "The Role of the SLP in Meeting the Academic and Communicative Needs of Students with Hearing Loss," Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association, April 2002.
  • "Minority Student Over and Under Representation in Special Education Programs," National Association of Mental Health Professionals, April 2002.
  • "The Linguistic Performance and Academic Achievement of Sensorineural Unilaterally Hearing-Impaired Children,"  Dissertation Abstracts, 1989.

Awards and Honors

  • Award for Continuing Education, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Gold Start Special Needs Award, Pittsburgh Council on Public Education
  • The Top 48 Educators in Western Pa., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Current Leadership Positions

  • The Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center, board of directors
  • The Watson Institute, trustee, board of directors
  • Bureau of Special Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, special education compliance monitor
  • Community College of Allegheny County, education advisory board

Professional Memberships

  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Council for Exceptional Children: Division of Communication Disorders
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf
  • National Association for the Deaf
  • Pennsylvania Association for the Deaf
  • Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
  • Pennsylvania Educators of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Southwest Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
  • Pennsylvania Association of Vocational Education Special Needs Personnel
  • Pennsylvania School Boards Association
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Pennsylvania Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Unit Special Education Directors
  • Pittsburgh Administrators Association
  • American Federation of Teachers – Associate Member
  • Phi Delta Kappa
  • University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association

In the News

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