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Susan Carpenter

Assc Professor

Behavioral Sciences

Sue Carpenter PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, Education Program, Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, City University of New York. She previously worked as an arts educator for many years in special education in Australia, London and in New York. Dr. Carpenter is the author of several peer reviewed articles on inclusion and an Arts in Education Handbook. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Dr. Carpenter was granted a year’s sabbatical to explore opportunities in higher education for students with intellectual/ learning disabilities in the U.K and Europe. She is also a visiting fellow at the Institute for Research in Inclusion at the University of Southampton in the UK, a teaching artist with the not-for-profit organization Reach Out Arts, founder of the Inclusion in Higher Education UK Advocacy group, and Faculty Interest groups that advocate for including students with intellectual disabilities within CUNY.


EDC2300 Music and Movement in Education workshop 2 credits

EDC2200 Art in Education workshop,3 credits

EDC9000 Field course for trainee elementary, special education and early childhood teachers, 3 credits

EDC9100 Field course for paraprofessionals working in elementary, special education and early childhood, 3 credits

Psych2400 Psychological disorders of young children: Disability studies/ special education focus, 3 credits

EDC3000 Early Childhood curriculum: 4 credits


Ph.D. in Music Education, Australian National University, Canberra Australia, 2004.

Dissertation: “Hand-in-Hand: An Intergenerational Community Music Program: A Case Study”

The dissertation documents the city-wide music program. Two pilot projects were set up by the author involving children with disabilities – including those with emotional/behavioral challenges.


M.Sc. in Education, Teacher of Special Education, Lehman College, the City University of New York, 2001.

Thesis: “The Therapeutic Use of Music and Autism”


Post-Graduate Certificate in Education - Art Teacher’s Certificate, University of London, Goldsmiths College, United Kingdom, 1986


M.F.A., University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 1981

Thesis: “Oskar Schlemmer and the Theater of the Bauhaus”


B.A. with Honors in Fine Arts, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., 1979

Thesis: “Artists Working in Collaboration with the Ballets Russes”



New York State Permanent Certifications in special education, art and music


Art teachers’ certificate - elementary and secondary, U.K.


Institute for Music and Health: Community Piano, Level 1


College Teaching


City University of New York, Kingsborough Community College, 2011-present. 

*Since Fall 2018, Associate Professor.



City University of New York, Kingsborough Community College, 2011.


City University of New York, City College. Adjunct Instructor. Child and Adolescent Development, Masters of Education Program at Rockland County Outreach Center, 2010.


State University of New York, Duchess Community College. Adjunct Instructor. Health Studies, 2004 


‘Music and stress reduction’ Kingsborough Community College, EDC2300: Zoom/on line classes, 2020.


‘Intergenerational music programs’ Mental Health Program, Kingsborough Community College, 2016.

Dowling College Long Island NY, Department of Social Sciences, 2010.


Purchase College, State University of New York, Liberal Arts, Liberal Studies, 2008.


Australian National University Schools Music Engagement Program, 2004.


Selected Publications and/or Other Resources

Book review for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities Spring 2021 edition

Title: People with Intellectual Disability Experiencing University Life: Theoretical Underpinnings, Evidence and Lived Experience Patricia O'Brien, Michelle L. Boanti, Friederike Gadow, and Roger Slee (Eds.) Brill Sense, 2019,

Chapter: ‘The contributions of and support for students with intellectual disabilities in higher education. Reflections from New York City with reference to future development of programs in the UK’, in Diversity-Sensitive Pedagogical Education in Research and Practice: Utopias, Claims and Challenges. Budrich: Salzburg University, Jan. 2020.


Arts in Education: A Handbook, Hudson House Publishers, August 2017.

Used as the handbook for the art in education and music and movement in education courses at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York.


‘Inclusion in a Music and Movement Education Course’. The Journal of the International Association of Special Education, Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 2015.


‘A Philosophical and Practical Approach to an Inclusive Community Chorus’. International Journal of Community Music, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2015.


‘Program Profile: Intergenerational Music Outreach Institute for Music and Health, Verbank, New York’. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Vol. 13, No. 2. June 2015


‘Removing Boundaries through Social Altruistic Musical Sharing’. S. West and S. Carpenter. Proceedings of the Australian Council for Education Leaders Conference, Sydney. 2014


‘From helper to helped’ S. West and S. Carpenter Symposium of the International Musicological Society, Conference Proceedings, Melbourne, 2004

‘CRI welcomes international visitor from USA’ Centre for Research in Inclusion, University of Southampton Newsletter Spring 2020


‘Amazing experience’ New Milton Advertiser, Jan. 2020, for social club members music making visit to primary school.


‘Inclusion and Diversity at Kingsborough Highlighted at International Conference’. Scepter newspaper, December. 2017.


‘Foreword’. In My Friend the Trumpet, by Ivan Hunter, Jaeger Publishers, 2016.

Special Needs: Ten Tips for Museum Educators. Self-published, 2010.


Make Music in the classroom: Ten Tips for Special Education Teachers. Self- published, 2009. 

Music and Care-Giving: Ten Tips for Care Givers. Self- published, 2009.


Royal Academy of Art: A Young Artists Guide, contributing author, London, Royal Academy of Art, 1996.

‘Special Needs Feasibility Study: Conway Center’, Anglesey: Center for visual and performing arts and outdoor adventure activities Cheshire Education, U.K., 1995.


Professional Conferences

Advocating for students with intellectual disabilities in higher education from CUNY to the UK . City University of New York Neuro Diversity Conference, March 2021.


Working with students with disabilities and the USA. University of Southampton, for undergraduate students- special education module, March 2020.


How to access the curriculum through the arts. Southampton University Education Program, Focus Day for trainee secondary teachers (science, math, foreign language, art majors attended), February 2020.


Inclusion: How to include and engage all students. Southampton University Education School, Booster workshop/presentation for secondary school student teachers, Jan. 31st 2020.


How to use music to connect in the classroom and beyond. Trinity College, Dublin, The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, November 28, 2019.


Dyslexia? Creativity and the work of John Diamond M.D. Solent University, Southampton, West Hampshire Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS) Dyslexia Association, November 20, 2019.


A personal journey (keynote panel). Berkeley College, New York, Road to Resilience: Disability and Sexual Abuse Symposium, October 23, 2019.

Nursing and music. Dublin City University, Undergraduate student nurses: October 11, 2019.


The contributions and inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in higher education in the USA and Europe.  Southampton University, Center for Research in Inclusion, October 8, 2019.


CUNY Unlimited, co-presenter. City University of New York, Neurodiversity Conference, March 2019.

Intellectual Hierarchy and Inclusive education. Conference for Inclusive Universities, Salzburg Austria, October 2018.


CUNY Unlimited, co-presenter. Borough of Manhattan Community College, as co-chair of the CUNY TPSID faculty committee, the first CUNY Neurodiversity Conference, March 2018.


Modeling Inclusion within Art in Education and Music and Movement in Education Courses for Early Childhood and Childhood Student Teachers in a Community College in Brooklyn New York. Association of Teacher Education Conference, Las Vegas, February 2018.


How can faculty, peer mentors and peers best support independence and confidence of students with intellectual disabilities through the arts in a college setting? State of the Art Conference, Syracuse University, November 2017. (Also facilitated the contributions to the presentation of an Honors student and a student with intellectual disabilities) 


TPSID Inclusive Qualitative Research, co-presenter with Sarah Zeller Berkman, PhD. Fordham University, New York, SQUIP: Society of Qualitative Methodology in Psychology, May 24, 2017.


Developing Lasting Supports for Autistic Students and Students with Intellectual Disabilities, in collaboration with Kristen Gillespie Lynch. The Geraldo Rivera Fund for Social Work and Disabilities Studies, New York, April 27, 2017.


The Music Outreach Model: The Culture of Inclusivity. 10th International Research Music Education Conference, Bath UK, April 25, 2017.


Developing a Meaningful Credential for CUNY Students with Intellectual Disabilities, co-presented with K Gillespie Lynch, C. Shockley, and S. Zeller Berkman. City University of New York Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Conference, City University of New York Graduate Center, March 31, 2017.


TPSID Overview and Ten Tips to Including Students with Intellectual Disabilities. Autism in Higher Education, City University of New York, Baruch College, Project REACH training, May 4, 2017. 


Music and Parenting, in collaboration with Prof. Catherine Ma. City University of New York, Kingsborough Community College, Women’s Center Lecture Series, October 2016.


Attendee, White House Summit of African American Youth and Disability, Washington, DC, July 2016.


Music and Inclusion (keynote speaker). Music and Autism: Breaking the Silence Conference, Leir Foundation, Ridgefield CT, Fall 2015.


The Role of the Star Persona in Music Education. Song Stage Screen International Conference, Regents University, London, UK, July 2015.


Inclusion through the arts- cutting edge or outdated? Disability Studies Conference, Atlanta GA, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the American’s Disability Act, June 2015.


Disability and the Media. Symposium, Accessibility Week, City University of New York, Kingsborough Community College, May, 2015.


Music to Enhance Education and Care Giving, co-presented with Michael Garber. YAI International Conference, New York City, May, 2015.


Turning the Tables. Disability Symposium, City University of New York, Kingsborough Community College, Spring 2014.


Disability and the Media. YAI International Conference, New York City, May 2013.


Inclusion through Music in a Community College Setting. International Association of Special Education Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 2013.


Music Outreach, co-presented with Michael Garber. New York State Intergenerational Network, Westchester Chapter, Manhattanville College, March 2012.


Music and Overcoming Burnout. Generations United Conference, Washington DC, 2011.


The Benefits of an Intergenerational Music Outreach Program, with Particular Reference to Adults with Special Needs. Generations United International Conference, Washington DC, 2009.


Empowering Students with Special Needs. International Arts and Humanities Conference, Hawaii, 2008.


The Benefits of Music Outreach for Adults with Alzheimer’s and Students with Special Needs, Gerontology in Higher Education Conference, Baltimore MD, February, 2008.


Hand-in-Hand Inclusive Music Program. Inclusive Practice Conference, University of Canberra, Australia, 2002.



Students with intellectual disabilities: opportunities to access and contribute to higher education in the UK. Diversity Sensitive Conference Salzburg University, Austria, June 2020; postponed till 2022.


Research Interests

Inclusion in higher education, arts education, community music making inc. intergeneration and work with people with dementia

Institutional Affiliations / Professional Societies

Guest editor/ reviewer

British Journal of Learning Disabilities 2020-

International Journal for Special Education, 2013-

International Journal for research and Methods in Education, 2020-


Personal Interests

Holistic health and well-being, gardening, community music making