Jacqueline Waggoner, EdD | University of Portland

Jacqueline Waggoner, EdD

Professor, School of Education

Jacqueline WaggonerIn 2016, Jackie Waggoner earned the title of Professor of Education at University of Portland, fulfilling a lifelong dream that first took root when she was a young child holding classes for her dolls. Those early lessons in the three Rs were a far cry from the graduate-level classes in quantitative and qualitative research and statistics, tests and measurement, assessment, and data-driven decision-making she’s been known for since arriving on The Bluff as an adjunct professor in 2003. “I believe that data can and should be used to further social justice and improve people’s lives,” she says.

After earning her EdD in Public School Administration and Supervision from a bi-university program from Portland State University and the University of Oregon. Waggoner spent decades as the head of the educational program in a residential treatment facility in Portland. But with her background in quantitative research, she says she “was drawn to the field of measurement.” In her role at the residential program, she worked with individuals “who had been hurt in many ways, and we used accurate data to develop treatment plans to help those young individuals earn an education and stay out of legal trouble.”

Since then, using research to create game-changing impacts in the field of education has been a constant theme throughout her career, but just as important is her belief in the power of collaboration. Working with clinical psychologist Dr. Richard Wollert, she helped develop the MATS-1, an instrument to more accurately identify sexually violent predators. And she worked with former UP Provost Dr. Tom Greene, Dr. Jim Carroll, and Dr. Bruce Weitzel to research and write about “assessing and teaching students so that every child learns.”

One of her proudest achievements was working with Drs. Carroll and Weitzel to lead UP’s School of Education in earning the prestigious Frank Murray Leadership Recognition Award for its first perfect national accreditation review. “At the time we earned the award, very few Schools of Education in the nation were awarded it, even fewer west of the Mississippi River had been awarded it, and none had been awarded it in Oregon,” she says. “It took many, many hours of the faculty and staff working together as a team and with data to earn the award.”

Over the years, Waggoner has held a wide range of leadership roles, from serving as an evaluator for federal grants, a supervisor for teachers, chair of numerous committees, and coordinator of Advanced Graduate Programs for the School of Education. She’s been requested to write expert testimony court declarations for Superior Courts of the State of Washington in regard to the use of Bayesian statistical analysis and has testified before the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission of the State of Oregon regarding measuring P-12 student achievement during Clinical Practice experiences.

But perhaps her favorite part of the job is getting to mentor and inspire UP’s graduate students. “I have worked hard in the research classes I teach to have our graduate students learn to love research and data,” she says. “A good teacher uses data and is a researcher every day to improve schools and students’ lives.”

Jackie is looking forward to moving into emeritus status as she works with her current doctoral students on their dissertations, having more opportunities for coffee and lunch with close friends and family, and “having some celebrations of my amazing time working at University of Portland. UP has been a second career for me after working in residential treatment. I want some time to reflect upon that.”