Sarika S. Gupta

Sarika S. Gupta
Assistant Professor, Special Education & Disability Studies
(202) 994-8108

Sarika S. Gupta, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Disabilities Studies who advises and teaches graduate students in the Early Childhood Special Education Program. Dr. Gupta holds a doctoral degree in special education from the University of Maryland at College Park and completed postdoctoral training in early childhood special education leadership at the University of Colorado Denver. She is currently serving as an Associate Editor for Young Exceptional Children.

Dr. Gupta began her career as an early childhood teacher, but learned quickly that she did not know how to teach children with special needs. She pursued graduate training to learn about individualizing instruction within the context of various early childhood approaches (e.g., the Project Approach, Reggio Emilia), and subsequently sought professional experiences within each level of the early childhood system to learn about systems-level strategies (e.g., federal initiatives, coaching) that are used to support teachers.

Dr. Gupta’s teaching experiences include teaching young children (ages 0-5) with and without disabilities in regular and inclusive settings, coaching Head Start teachers with the federally-funded Children’s School Success project, and preparing pre-service teachers in early childhood and early childhood special education programs across several institutions of higher education.

Dr. Gupta’s research and practice focuses on the implementation of preschool inclusion. Studying systems-levels issues that can facilitate or impede the implementation of early childhood programs was a recent focus of her work at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland at College Park, where Dr. Gupta facilitated the statewide implementation of the Maryland Preschool Child Outcomes Summary Process and managed the Evaluation of the Efficacy of Maryland’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant and the Study of the Birth to Five Service Delivery Models in Maryland. With a better understanding of the barriers to implementation, Dr. Gupta is further interested in investigating relations between administrators’ leadership behaviors, teacher well-being, and children’s social-emotional outcomes in inclusive preschool classrooms.

Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Colorado Denver
Ph.D., University of Maryland at College Park
M.Ed., University of Maryland at College Park
B.S., University of Maryland at College Park


Gupta, S. S., & Rous, B. (2016). Understanding change and implementation: How leaders can support inclusion. Young Children, 71(2), 82-91.

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Sweet, S., Gupta, S., & Lieber, J. (2016). Evaluation of the birth to five service delivery models in Maryland – Phase 1. College Park: University of Maryland Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.

Tirrell-Corbin, C., Lieber, J., Cummings, K., Jones Harden, B., Klein, E., Silverman, R., & Gupta, S. (2016). Evaluation of the efficacy of Maryland’s Race to the Top—Early learning challenge grant. College Park: University of Maryland, Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention.

Ruggiero, T., Gupta, S., Nicholas, A., & Mauzy, D. (2016). State spotlight on data use. Maryland: Establishing partnerships to build data use capacity. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Available from

LaRocco, D. J., Sopko, K. M., Bruns, D. A., & Gupta, S. S. (2014). Voices from the field: A national early childhood special education leadership summit. Young Exceptional Children, 17(4), 28-31.

LaRocco, D. J., Bruns, D. A., Gupta, S. S., & Sopko, K. M. (2014). National early childhood special education leadership summit: Final report February 2014. Available from

Gupta, S. S., Henninger, W. R., & Vinh, M. (2014). First steps to preschool inclusion: How to jumpstart your program-wide plan. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Gupta, S. S., & Daniels, J. (2012). Coaching and professional development in early childhood classrooms: Current practices and recommendations for the future. NHSA Dialog, 15(2), 206-220.

Lieber, J., Butera, G., Hanson, M., Palmer, S., Horn, E., Czaja, C., Diamond, K., Goodman-Jansen, G., Daniels, J., Gupta, S., & Odom, S. (2009). Factors that influence the implementation of a new preschool curriculum: Implications for professional development. Early Education and Development, 20(3), 456-481.