Leila Ansari Ricci, Ph.D.

Leila Ansari Ricci,, Ph.D.
Charter College of Education
Department of Special Education & Counseling
Office Location: KH C1030
Phone: 323.343.4412 Email: lricci@exchange.calstatela.edu


Dr. Leila Ansari Ricci is an Assistant Professor in the Mild/Moderate Disabilities program of the Division of Special Education and Counseling in the Charter College of Education at Cal State Los Angeles. Dr. Ricci is the Program Coordinator for the Special Education residency pathway of the Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency-Transformation Initiative (LAUTR-TI). Dr. Ricci is also the Intern Coordinator for Special Education programs and coordinates the Certificate in Teaching Learners with Special Needs in General Education Classrooms. Furthermore, she develops and assigns field sites for Mild/Moderate credential candidates in their final quarter of directed teaching under the supervision of a master teacher. A proud mom of three girls, former K-12 special education teacher, Gosoku Ryu black belt, and participant in Spartan and Tough Mudder races, Dr. Ricci knows a thing or two about overcoming challenging obstacles; her passion is supporting and inspiring Cal State LA credential candidates/residents to complete their special education training and make a difference in the lives of all children, with and without disabilities. 


Dr. Ricci’s teaching interests include teaching reading to children with Mild/Moderate disabilities, the foundations of Special Education, instructional planning and delivery, collaboration and co-teaching, as well as support and supervision of interns, traditional credential candidates, and LAUTR-TI special education residents.


Dr. Ricci’s research interests focus on teaching reading to children with disabilities, collaboration between general and special education teachers, and supporting novice special educators.


Title Date

Kamei-Hannan, C., & Ricci, L. A. Reading connections: Strategies for teaching students with visual impairments. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind Press.

In press

Ricci, L. A., & Zetlin, A. G. Interweaving teaching and emotional support for novice special educators in alternative certification programs. Journal of the National Association for Alternative Certification, 8(2), 23-42.


Ricci, L. A., & Osipova, A. Visions for literacy: Parents’ aspirations for reading in children with Down syndrome. British Journal of Special Education, 39(3), 123-129.


Kamei-Hannan, C., Holbrook, M. C., & Ricci, L. A. Applying a Response to Intervention (RTI) model to literacy instruction for students who are blind or visually impaired. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 106(2), 69-80.


Tamzarian, A., Menzies, H. M., & Ricci, L. Barriers to full participation in the Individualized Education Program for culturally and linguistically diverse parents. Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, 1(2), 1-11.


Ricci, L. Home literacy environments, interest in reading, and emergent literacy skills of children with Down syndrome versus typical children. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55(6), 596-609.

Ricci, L. A. Exploration of reading interest and emergent literacy skills of children with Down syndrome. International Journal of Special Education, 26(3), 1-11.


Title Date

Ricci, L. Teaching reading to children with Down syndrome: What do preservice special educators know and need to know? Presentation at Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.


Ricci, L., & Haager, D. Focused reading and language intervention for English language learners at risk for developing reading disabilities. Poster presented at Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, Honolulu, HI.


Ricci, L.A., & Zetlin, A. Developing collaboration skills of teacher candidates in a community learning center model. Presentation at Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, HI.

Ricci, L.A., & Zetlin, A. Providing support in alternative certification programs: How can mentors effectively coach interns? Presentation at Council for Exceptional Children Annual Convention, Denver, CO.
Ricci, L.A., Haager, D., & Ribas, Y. (2012). Co-Teaching in an urban residency: Enhancing differentiation in math and science classrooms. Poster presented to the Council for Exceptional Children Annual Convention, Denver, CO.



2004               Ph.D., Special Education, University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles

1997               M.A., Educational Therapy, California State University, Northridge

1994               B.A., English and Iranian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Clear Education Specialist Instruction Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities