Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
School of Education and Professional Licensure
M.S. Education (MSEd)
Dr. Nathan Sparks has earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and Master of Education in Special Education and a Doctorate in Education. He also holds a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Organizational Leadership. He has been trained as an Assistive Technology Specialist and worked as an educational leader, public school teacher, and college instructor for 24 years. Dr. Sparks served five years as the State level coordinator for alternate and alternative testing for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education. His current position for the last 13 years has been as the Education Director for the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems in Richmond Virginia. Dr. Sparks has been an instructor with Walden University teaching courses in Special Education for the past 14 years. Dr. Sparks areas of research interest include educational evaluation and assessment of students with complex medical needs, virtual reality content delivery, and assistive technology implementation. He has taught courses covering special education, legal aspects, assistive technology, and learning disabilities. Dr. Sparks has received recognition from the Virginia Board of Education for outstanding contributions in the design and development of Virginia’s Alternate Assessment Program. He has been honored by the Virginia Association of Test Directors and was honored by the Virginia Department of Education, State Operated Programs for Outstanding Contributions to State Operated Programs. Dr. Sparks is a published author and speaker and was invited to speak at the Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress in Manchester England in 2000. Dr. Sparks has developed a Student Data Management System used by several State agencies to manage and track student performance in Hospital and Mental Health settings.
EDUC 6610 - Teacher as Professional
EDUC 6784 - Adapting Instruction Using Evidence-Based Strategies
EDUC 6640 - Designing Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
EDUC 6723 - Advanced Instructional Strategies
EdD, Regent University
MEd, Regent University
BS, Liberty University
Hospital Education Program Fundraising, Organizer - Gloucester, VA United States
WXGM Christmas Wishes Concert, Organizer - Gloucester, VA United States
WXGM Driveway Christmas Party, Participant - Gloucester , VA United States
American Cancer Society, Volunteer - Gloucester, VA United States
Awards / Honors
Resolution of Appreciation, Virginia Board of Education, 2002
Certificate of Achievement, Newport News Special Education Advisory Committee, 2001
Disney American Teacher Award Nominee, Disney Learning Partnership, 2001
Certificate of Appreciation, Virginia Department of Education, 2000
Excellence in Assessment Award, Virginia Association of Test Directors, 2006
Sparks, N. M. (2007). Disability status bias considerations in a portfolio alternate assessment program.
Sparks, N. M. (2005). Assessment Options for Students with Disabilities. Virginia Department of Education.
Sparks, N. M. (2015). Instructing Students with Significant Cognitive Impairments. Virginia Department of Education.
Sparks, N. M. (2014). Social and Emotional Learning Made Simple. Virginia Department of Education.
Sparks, N. M. (2015). The Impact of Persistent Pain on Working Memory. Virginia Department of Education.
Sparks, N. M. (2000). Assistive Technology Assessment Tools. University of Manchester.
Sparks, N. M. (2001). Providing Access to Classroom Content via the Internet for Homebound Students with Severe Disabilities. Milwaukee Public Schools.