Deanne Unruh

Profile picture of Deanne Unruh
Research Associate Professor
College of Education, Education Research and Outreach, Special Education
Phone: 541-346-1424
Office: 212 Clinical Services Bldg
Research Interests: Secondary Special Education and Transition Program


Deanne Unruh, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Professor in the College of Education and is the Director of the Secondary Special Education and Transition (SSET) research unit and Co-Director of the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). NTACT provides technical assistance to all State Departments of Education, State Vocational Rehabilitation offices and local practititioners to use data based decision-making to improve services to youth with disabilities to stay in school, graduate, and continue positive life outcomes of post-secondary education and employment.  Her research expertise includes high risk adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system. She has directed grants from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Institute of Educational Sciences, and  the Office of Special Education Programs focused  on juvenile justice re-entry interventions. Her recent work is in collaboration with state juvenile justice agency and local community agencies.


Ph.D., 2001, University of Oregon
Major: Educational Policy and Management

M.S., 1991, University of Kansas
Major: Curriculum and Instruction

B.S., 1985, University of Kansas
Major: Middle/Secondary Social Studies Education

Honors and Awards

2015                     University of Oregon, Independent Researcher Award

2014                     College of Education, University of Oregon, Distinguished Researcher Award


Griller-Clark, H., & Unruh, D., (2010). Transition practices for adjudicated youth with EBD and related disabilities. Journal of Behavioral Disorders, 36, pp. 43-51.

Unruh, D., Povenmire-Kirk, T. & Yamamoto, S. (2009). Perceived barriers and protective factors of juvenile offenders on their developmental pathway to adulthood. Journal of Correctional Education, 60, pp. 201-224.

Unruh, D., Gau, J., & Waintrup, M. (2009). An Exploration of Factors Reducing Recidivism Rates of Formerly Incarcerated Youth with Disabilities Participating in a Re-Entry Intervention. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 18, pp. 284-293.

Waintrup, M. & Unruh, D. (June, 2008). Career Development Programming Strategies for Transitioning Incarcerated Adolescents to the World of Work. Journal of Correctional Education, 59, 127-144.

Unruh, D. & Bullis, M. (2005). Community and self-report of the facility-to-community transition needs for adjudicated youth with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 28, 67-79.


Deanne Unruh, Ph.D., has directed or co-directed research and model demonstration grants and state contracts equaling $17 million.  Her primary research interests include the facility-to-community transition process for adolescents in the juvenile justice system, development and validation of transition-related measures, and post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities.