Aaron Perzigian, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair; Director of WIETS and Dual Endorsement Programs


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Perzigian (Armenian) is professor of inclusive education at Western Washington University. He is committed to equity and inclusion in education and the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in all facets of society. He teaches courses on culturally sustaining pedagogy in K-12 classrooms and methods of instruction for students with disabilities. He directs the Woodring Inclusive Education Teacher Scholars program (WIETS), which is a grant funded pathway to dual teaching endorsements for Kent and Highline school district employees. He as well directs the dual endorsement special education and elementary education program in Bellingham. 

Prior to academia, Dr. Perzigian was an English teacher and special education teacher in residential treatment centers in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.

His research examines the efficacy of alternative school environments (e.g., behavior reassignment programs) and ways in which social-emotional learning predicts academic performance for students with high-incidence disabilities. In his current project Dr. Perzigian is studying the impact of pre-service teacher service learning in local alternative high schools.

He is actively seeking collaborators in research within special education teacher preparation, social-emotional learning, and alternative schools as well as other opportunities related to strengthening the learning climates -and thereby educational trajectories- for all students.

Select publications:

Perzigian, A. B. & Aziz, N. (Eds.). (2023). Multicultural special education for inclusive classrooms. Routledge.


Perzigian, A. B., Foreman-Murray, L., & Braun, M. (2021). Do student ratings of school climate predict school outcomes in urban alternative high schools? Perspectives on Urban Education, 19, 1–17.

Perzigian, A. B., & Braun, M. (2020). A comparison of school climate ratings in urban alternative and traditional high schools. Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 10, 351–365.

Perzigian, A. B. (2018). Social competence in urban alternative schools. Perspectives on Urban Education, 15, 2–19.

Perzigian, A. B., Afacan, K., Justin, W., & Wilkerson, K. L. (2017). Characteristics of students in traditional versus alternative high schools: A cross sectional analysis of enrollment in one urban district. Education and Urban Society, 49, 676–700.