Colleen Arnold has worked as an education specialist (special education teacher) in Marin County for over ten years in both the nonpublic and public sector. She has her general education and special education teaching credentials, as well as her Master’s Degree from Dominican University.
Currently, Colleen is pursuing her Doctorate in Special Education at University of San Francisco. She is also a professor at Dominican University, with comprehensive teaching experience at the university level specializing in special education and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She teaches courses in behavior, curriculum, as well as assessment for future general education and special education teachers. Colleen has acted as a supervisor for new teachers, conducting classroom observations providing them with both feedback and support.
Colleen is also a curriculum consultant for Cypress School, a school specifically tailored for students with autism and other complex support needs with a focus on behavioral success and community engagement. Colleen works with Cypress to ensure students have access to high-quality reading instruction that has been individualized to fit their learning style.
Collectively, with her hands-on time in the classroom and through her extensive supervision of new educators, Colleen has become passionate about ensuring that families know their rights and are able to be active members of the Individualized Education Program team. She has worked with strong, collaborative IEP teams, and she feels that spreading this group approach across the Bay Area through Arnold Advocacy is critical to supporting families and ensuring that students with disabilities have strong advocates.
We hired Colleen for her special education and advocacy background and experience, her innovative approach to negotiations, and her results oriented approach. What we did not anticipate was how much we would grow as parent advocates while working alongside her. Or how she would become our rock through a very emotional and difficult time. We cannot recommend Colleen highly enough for her work as an advocate. She has repeatedly exceeded our expectations. She also helped us to understand the process better and opened our minds to the possibilities for our child. We are beyond thrilled that we decided to work with Colleen.
Without Colleen as our advocate we would not have gotten an IEP for our son. We have been working with the school since our son was six years old trying to get him services for dyslexia. We called Colleen after three years of what we call fighting the school system to get services for our son. Within one meeting the school tested our child and nine weeks later we had an IEP on the books. Without Colleen it could've been years before this happened. Our only regret is not hiring her earlier in the process.
Again, we thank you for all you do. Truly you are a blessing to us. It has been a great experience working with you. Ever since you become part of our son's IEP team, we feel that our voice has been heard. You have helped us get our points across the table and have been a real advocate for our son in the truest meaning of the word. You have helped us from understanding testing, creating goals to making sure everything we think he needs are contained in his IEP. We can never thank you enough Colleen! We are now confident that our son will get what he needs for his education as long as we have you on our team.
We were absolutely blessed (one of the chosen few!) to have Colleen as our son's teacher for 3 amazing years. She has the insight and compassion to help individuals with all kinds of special needs. Colleen is truly one of the most dedicated and inspirational educators I've met.
I cannot say enough good things about Colleen Arnold. She is such a dedicated educator and she cares deeply about her students. She has made such a difference in my son’s life. He came to her special ed class in 3rd grade with many challenges. She was always patient but firm, and helped transform my son into a real student! By the end of 5th grade, my son was given the Consistent Achiever Award, which is given to the student who has shown exceptional citizenship, and has worked to his or her highest academic potential. My son was given this award over 75 other 5th grade students, regular ed included. Without Colleen’s guidance, he never would have been able to get to where he is today. I will always look back on my son’s elementary school years and remember what a positive impact Colleen has made in his life. She is a true gem!