Alissa Rausch

Director, PELE Center, Assistant Research Faculty

  • Positive Early Learning Experiences Center

What I do

Across my professional experiences, I have learned the values of collaboration, continual growth, communication, and strategic visioning. I hope strengthen the impact of the PELE Center with:

  • Strategic Vision and Growth: Guiding the center in developing and implementing a strategic plan that expands its reach and impact in promoting inclusive early childhood education.
  • Program Enhancement and Innovation: Cultivating a culture of continuous improvement by implementing research-informed practices, exploring innovative strategies, and securing funding for program expansion.
  • Community Partnerships and Advocacy: Strengthening relationships with families, community organizations, and policymakers to advocate for inclusive policies and secure resources for underserved and intersectional populations.
  • Professional Development and Leadership: Fostering a supportive and learning environment for staff, providing professional development opportunities, and empowering them to be champions of inclusion.


Professional Biography

In my career I have supported the educational rights of young children, especially those with disabilities and with intersectional identities as a provider, program leader, advocate, preservice faculty, and technical assistance provider.  My experiences have varied across almost every area of the expansive field of early childhood education.

Among the most impactful experiences,

  • I have successfully developed and implemented comprehensive early childhood inclusion programs, ensuring all children's needs are supported and learning within a nurturing and stimulating environment in both Douglas County School District and Cedar Rapids Community Schools.  My ability to foster collaboration and build strong partnerships with educators, families, and community partners has been instrumental in fostering my leadership abilities.
  • As the president of Disability Law Colorado and the Colorado Division for Early Childhood, I am a passionate advocate for inclusive practices and policies. I have actively engaged in legislative initiatives, community outreach programs, and professional development sessions, promoting awareness and understanding of the importance of inclusivity in early childhood education.  These experiences exposed me to many partners in the Colorado disability community and nationally.
  • My deep understanding of federal and state regulations and best practices in creating inclusive learning environments allows me to partner with programs to provide optimal support for children with diverse needs.  My experiences on the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) Center and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center have helped me to build an understanding of the complex early childhood system and what might support transformative change and leverage the unique skills of the PELE Center across the system.
  • My dedication to data-driven decision-making is evident in my experience conducting action research and collaborating with communities to design and implement evidence-informed solutions for their challenges as a Co-PI or PI on multiple grants. I believe in harnessing the power of research to continuously improve practices and advocate for transformative change.