Photo of Denise Hoctor

Denise Hoctor

Online Elementary Education Coordinator, Instructor of Teacher Education

Contact Information

Dominguez Hall 101J



MA, Western State Colorado University

BS, Eastern Michigan University

BS, Eastern Michigan University


Denise M. Hoctor received her Bachelor of Science in elementary education and her Bachelor of Science in emotionally disturbed special education from Eastern Michigan University and went on to earn her Master of Arts in educationally handicapped special education from Western State Colorado University and her Type D Administrative Leadership degree from the University of Northern Colorado. A lecturer of teacher education and Special Education Coordinator, Hoctor teaches Methods of Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities in Reading and Math, Exceptional and English Language Learners in the Inclusive Classroom and supervises Internships 1 and 2, as well as pre-internships and internships in elementary education as students put into practice the knowledge and theory from their coursework.

Hoctor retired from the local school district after 34 years as an educator/principal/instructional leader and now supports the learning of new teachers in training. She recently established a graduate program in special education here at CMU.

Hoctor believes that learning occurs when it connects to the individuals background knowledge, is interesting, meaningful and social in nature. "I believe we construct our own thinking so I like to provide hands-on learning through field experiences and observations in real life settings to build schema," she said. "It's imperative that we discuss, reflect and connect what we observe and experience to our previous learning."

She taught learners with autism spectrum disorders in 1980 when the diagnosis and identification of children with autism was in its infancy. With the rising rates of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, some of her research focus has been turned toward best practices for teaching these learners. She is working on an autism certificate to support the need of school districts, teachers and organizations who work with students with autism spectrum disorders. Hoctor also has an interest in teaching struggling readers and writers in grades K-3. She was able to take the Reading Recovery training which increased her skills and knowledge and ability to observe learners and respond effectively. She also has a great deal of experience coaching teachers through the use of inquiry and lesson analysis.

Hoctor currently serves on the Firefly West Autism Board of Directors. The Teacher Education Department has supported workshops for community members in Montrose and Grand Junction to build understanding of autism spectrum disorders for educators, families and the general community.

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."

--Albert Einstein

Curriculum Vitae