Jon Lee, PhD


With 36 years of experience, Jon (he/him/his) is a long time Early Childhood Special Educator and public-school administrator for early childhood programs; including special education, child find services, and family literacy programs. Jon and the family moved to Louisville Kentucky in 2000 where he held appointments with the National Center for Family Literacy, Bellarmine University, and the University of Louisville. Jon earned promotion and tenure (May 2018) during his six-year appointment with the University of Cincinnati, and again as an Associate Professor of Education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. As of 2023, Jon has returned to the University of Louisville as director of the ECRC.

Jon’s research and teaching focuses on issues relating to family impact on very young children’s emergent literacy development; factors pertaining to children’s social, emotional, and behavioral adjustment to schooling; and applications of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in educational contexts. Jon is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and is trained in the use of the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity (MITI) code. Jon works with a highly successful research consortium, whose current research is funded by Institute of Educational Sciences and includes adaptations of the First Step Next early intervention program for preschool-aged children (R324A150221) and children with tertiary behavior challenges in primary classrooms (R324A090237 and R324A150179), as well as the development of educational interventions utilizing MI in various contexts (R324A190173).