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Michael Barla

Research Associate Professor

  • Positive Early Learning Experiences Center

Professional Biography

Dr. Michael A. Barla is a Research Associate Professor in the Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver.  He previously worked as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the early childhood and early childhood special education licensure programs at the University of Colorado Denver.  Prior to joining the faculty at CU-Denver, he was an Assistant Professor of early childhood education and special education at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO.  Dr. Barla began his public-school career as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with children ages pre-k through high school in Illinois, Florida, and Missouri.  He then moved into positions focusing on educational assessments and administration and spent the final five years of his public-school career as the Director of Early Childhood Education for the Rockwood School District in St. Louis County, MO.  As the Director of ECE, Dr. Barla was responsible for the collaborative leadership of four programs in the school district:  tuition-based early childhood education, early childhood special education, Parents as Teachers and screening.  Dr. Barla has worked on the following grant-funded projects:  EPIC-ECE (Ensuring Preparation of Inclusive Early Childhood Education by Enhancing ECE Teacher Preparation in Colorado) – University of Colorado Denver; Placed-Based Bachelor of Arts in ECE – University of Colorado Denver; and Circle Grant focused on Community Inclusion – PELE Center at the University of Denver.  He holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri.