Barb VanHaren

Barb Van Haren

Adjunct Instructor of Graduate Education


Education Graduate Studies


Barbara Van Haren is the former Assistant State Superintendent of the Division for Learning Support and State Director of Special Education at Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). She serves as an Adjunct Faculty in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) graduate program at Carroll University in the area of special education. She teaches Inclusive Education, Diagnostic Assessment and Evaluation, and Methodology in Special Education. She enjoys working in educator preparation and incorporating elements of Universal Design for Learning and modeling inclusive and high leverage practices into course experiences. In addition, Barb continues to work at DPI as an interim Assistant State Superintendent of the Division for Libraries and Technology and an educational consultant focusing on staffing challenges in special education.
She has worked at the district, regional and state levels, as well as in higher education bringing rural, suburban, and urban experiences. Most recently, her work at DPI included serving as a State Superintendent Cabinet member and the oversight of the Special Education and Student Services Prevention and Wellness teams, along with the State Schools for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Visually Impaired. She has served as the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services and Regional Special Education Network Director at Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) #1 for 45 school districts and Independent Charter Schools in the Milwaukee area. In the past, Barb has served as an Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services for the Howard-Suamico School District, as an Assistant Professor of Special Education at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, specializing in special education leadership and as a special educator and leader in her hometown of Oconto Falls. Barb is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, attending Wisconsin public schools and the UW system, completing her doctorate in educational administration from UW Madison. She has served as the past president for Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS), The ARC Fox Cities and was a board member for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE).

Barb and her partner, Greg live in Muskego with two rescue Siamese cats named Cleo and Chloe! She is an avid Brewers, Packers, and Badgers fan. Go Wisconsin!
pano of main campus