Amber McConnell

Senior Extension Associate

201 Dolgen Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

Fax: (607) 255-2763

Amber McConnell

Amber E. McConnell, Ph.D., is the Program Director for Transition and Education Programs and a Senior Extension Associate at the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability. She currently serves as the Director of the Transition Technical Assistance Partnership at YTI funded by the New York State Department of Special Education.

Amber received her Ph.D. in Special Education with a focus on improving post-school outcomes for students with disabilities from the University of Oklahoma in 2012. She has extensive involvement in research, advocacy, grant writing, policy, and professional development. Her experiences include strategic planning, project evaluation, capacity building, and graduate-level college course instruction at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK and Stuttgart, Germany. She has published multiple research studies in academic journals and has presented her work at local, state, and national conferences. Amber has contracted with four states to provide professional development and technical assistance to Special Educators in the areas of self-determination, transition, and student involvement in the IEP process.

Amber has a Masters in Student Personnel Services and holds teaching certifications in Special Education and English Language Arts. She is also a certified Trauma-Informed Practitioner with six years of teaching experience at the K-12 level and 7 years’ experience at the university level.

Amber is passionate about incorporating transition skills into academic curriculum and integrating research-based nonacademic skills into academic standards instruction to improve post-school outcomes. Amber believes in a holistic approach to preparing students with disabilities for life after high that blends relationship skills, self-determination, job skill development, and knowledge acquisition.


Ph.D. - University of Oklahoma Special Education
M.S. - Northeastern State University Student Personnel Services
B.S. - Northeastern State University Special Education