Skip to Main Content
Chico State

Professor Emerita Transformed Special Education at Chico State and Beyond

Terri Davis

The Chico State Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association (ERFSA) is pleased to announce the 2024 Hall of Honors class. Eight renowned faculty and staff members will be inducted into the Hall of Honor on Friday, May 31, 2024, during a ceremony and luncheon. Buy tickets.

Through outstanding innovation and collaboration, Teresa Davis has helped transform special education teacher training regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Four years after she was hired in 1991, Davis was a primary developer of an integrated general and special education teacher education structure called the Concurrent Program. The program, which continues today, provides cross-cultural knowledge and experience for teaching at-risk and special needs students in a regular classroom and/or a setting with an educational specialist. After it began as an experimental state program, it became a model structure in the state, and Chico State graduates of the program were, and continue to be, highly sought after by school districts.

A key element of the experiential training students received was in service learning. Davis built relationships across the region so that each year approximately 75 teacher candidates could partner with community agencies, schools, and nonprofits to conduct service-learning projects as part of their training.

Davis has published 12 articles and book chapters and made 28 presentations at national and state conferences on the Concurrent Program and its impact. To emphasize the program as a replicable model, Davis developed a website course funded by the CSU Office of the Chancellor available free of charge to any college of education teacher preparation program nationwide. Her work was prominent in the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education’s publication Service Learning in Teacher Education and the basis for three training videos used nationwide.

During her 25-year tenure in the School of Education, Davis has been a program director, department chair, curriculum designer, and grant project director of several state and federally funded projects. In 2012, she was named a Chico State Project Director of the Year. Davis also served as co-director of service learning for the University for three years and provided instruction in service learning to international teachers attending the Teaching and Excellence Achievement Program.

Away from campus, Davis has served on the Region 2 CalServe Service-Learning Board and coordinated activities throughout Northern California. She was also a member of the Board of Directors for the International Center for Service-Learning in Teacher Education. In 2009, she received the State Farm Award for Service-Learning Excellence in Teacher Education. The award highlighted her work providing a national model for university-school collaboration and reciprocity.

After retiring in 2020, Davis continues community volunteer work. She serves as the current vice president of a local chapter of the international women’s philanthropic organization P.E.O., which provides education scholarships to women in local high schools, Butte Community College, and Chico State.