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We continue to monitor and prepare for additional cases in Iowa and will adjust the university schedule or classes as needed. Please check our COVID-19 webpage for updates and other information.

Frequently Asked Questions for students can be found here.

*The Admissions and Financial Aid Offices will serve students entirely remotely. Employees of these offices will be available to assist students and their families Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. via their Clarke email and phone extension.  For admissions-related questions, please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@clarke.edu or 563-588-6316.  For questions regarding financial aid, please contact the  Financial Aid Office at financialaid@clarke.edu or 563-588-6327.

Portrait of Paula Schmidt

Paula Schmidt, Ed.D.

Dean for the College of Professional and Graduate Studies,
(563) 588-6383
Haas Administration 207
MS 1751 (to send on-campus mail)

Educational Background

University of Northern Iowa , Ed.D. in Special Education, Emphasis:  Inclusive Leadership, 2008

Marian College, Fond du Lac, WI, Master of Arts in Education, Emphasis:  Students At-Risk, 2000

Winona State University, Winona, MN, Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education & Special Education, Licensures: Elementary Education · Learning Disabilities (K-12) · Mild to Moderate Mentally Impaired (K-12), Emphasis: Spanish, 1997

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that all students bring unique experiences, perceptions and abilities to the classroom. These differences shape who they are and how they interpret the material being presented. I believe in embracing, not stifling, these differences in my students. My teaching philosophy is based on the constructivist learning theory. I believe that it is my role to create and maintain a classroom environment that allows students to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct their learning in alignment with the content presented.

The relationships I have formed with students, faculty and staff at Clarke are the best part of working here. Clarke is truly a caring, learning community committed to excellence in education. I see and feel it daily at Clarke.

Paula Schmidt


Professional Background

Iowa licensure (currently held):

  •                   K-6 Teacher Elem Classroom
  •                   K-6 Mildly Disabled
  •                   K-6 Mentally Disabled Mild/Moderate
  •                   7-12 Mental Disabled Mild/Moderate
  •                   K-6 Learning Disabilities
  •                   7-12 Learning Disabilities
  •                   K-6 Multicategorical Special Class Intg
  •                   7-12 Multicategorical Special Class Intg
  •                   K-6 Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate
  •                   7-12 Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate

Wisconsin licensure (previously held):

  •                   Alternative Education Program Middle/secondary (grades 6-12)
  •                   Pre-K through grade 12 Cognitive Disability
  •                   Pre-K through grade 12 Learning Disability
  •                   Elementary 1st-6th grade

Research Interests

  • Special education
  • Differentiation
  • Professional Development Schools
  • Adolescent learner
  • How people learn

Certifications and Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • National Association of Professional Development Schools
  • National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET)
  • Iowa Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (IACTE)
  • American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)
  • Phi Delta Kappa International
  • Iowa Association for Professional Development Schools – Executive Board member 2012-Present
  • Member of the Iowa Educator Preparation State Panel (2016- present)