Teacher Education Faculty

Nadeen Ruiz
Lecturer/Supervisor, Multiple Subject Credential

Nadeen Ruiz, Ph.D. obtained her MA and Ph.D. at Stanford University in bilingual education and linguistics after a career as a bilingual teacher. Formerly, Dr. Ruiz was Director of Elementary Education at Stanford University and of Teacher Preparation at CSU Sacramento. She received teaching awards at both institutions in 1997, 2004, and 2005. In addition, Dr. Ruiz is the recipient of the California Association of Bilingual Educators Teacher Preparation Program Award (2010) and the UC Davis School of Education Outstanding Alumna Award (2011). Dr. Ruiz co-founded the Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Project, a research and professional development program that focuses on effective literacy instruction for English Learners in both general and special education classrooms, and for Migrant children. She is the author of over 40 articles and books on students’ bilingualism and biliteracy, and on the preparation of bilingual teachers, regularly presenting on these topics at national and international conferences. Dr. Ruiz is currently on the roster of Fulbright Commission Specialists to work internationally in the areas of bilingual education and English language development. She is Professor Emeritus in Bilingual Multicultural Education at CSU Sacramento, and Lecturer at the School of Education, University of California at Davis.  In November 2018 Dr. Ruiz was elected to the Governing Board of the Language Academy of Sacramento, a K-8 bilingual school.


Ph.D. 1988, Curriculum and Teacher Education (Language, Literacy & Culture); Ph.D. Minor- Linguistics, Stanford University

M.A. 1982, Education, Stanford University

B.A. 1976, Spanish, University of California at Davis, Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors

Credentials: Multiple Subject with a Bilingual Emphasis, Single Subject- Spanish, Bilingual Cross Cultural Specialist, University of California at Davis

Research Interests

  • Research-based Instruction in English Language Development
  • Literacy Instruction for Latino Students in Bilingual
  • General and Special Education Classrooms
  • Literacy Development in Latino Children
  • Deaf Children’s Language and Literacy Development
  • Mexican Indigenous Students and Families in the U.S.
  • Transnational Teacher Education

Professional Background

2018- Present   Co-Primary Investigator, “Recruiting the Next Generation of California’s Bilingual Teachers.” Grant from the California Teacher Education Research and Improvement Network, University of California.

2014- Present   Lecturer, Teacher Credential and Master’s in Education Program, Specialization in Bilingual and English Learner Education, School of Education, University of California at Davis.

1992-present   Professor and Professor Emeritus, College of Education

2007- 2013   Director, California Bi-National Teacher Education Project. 1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition.

2009-2011   Director, Joe Serna and Isabel Hernández Serna Center, Sacramento State University. The Serna Center encourages policy and political knowledge, activism and engagement, and student access and excellence. The Center’s primary but not exclusive focus is Chicanas/os and Latinoa/os in the Sacramento region.

2010-2011   Director, Professional Development for Teachers of Indigenous Migrant Students, $187,000 grant from the California Department of Education, Office of Migrant, Indian, and International Education. California State University at Sacramento. Courses: “Teaching Reading in the Elementary School,” “Teaching Language Arts in the Elementary School,” “Language and Literacy in Bilingual Children,” “Introduction to Bilingual Education,” “Research Seminar in Bilingualism and Nonstandard Language Varieties,” “Curriculum and Instruction for Educational Leaders.” (course in Sacramento State Ed.D. program).

2005-2008   Chair, Bilingual Multicultural Education Department, California State University Sacramento.

2005-2008   Director, Cross-Cultural Resource Center, CSUS Sacramento

2003-2005   Director, Elementary Education, Stanford University. Courses: “Language Policies and Practices,” “Exploring Elementary Teaching: Educational Policy, Diversity, and English Learners,” “Special Education for Secondary Teachers.”

1994-2004   Co-Director, The Migrant/Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Project, a research and staff development program funded by the California Department of Education. Responsible for analyzing data from a longitudinal study of migrant education classrooms and for working with school districts to optimize instruction for bilingual students in special and general education.

2001-2002   Director, Teacher Preparation and Credentials Office, College of Education, California State University  Sacramento.

1987- 1993   Research Consultant to The Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Project, a study funded by the Office of Special Education, California Department of Education. Responsible for the development of a curriculum guide for Spanish-speaking children in learning handicapped (LH) programs; for training teachers of LH students in holistic instructional strategies; and, for providing input on the design, data-collection, and data-analyses components of the study.

1984-87   Lecturer, Department of Teacher Education, California State University, Sacramento. Field Supervisor for elementary education student teachers. Courses: “Introduction to Bilingual Education,” “Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language,” “Methods of Teaching Reading.”

1982-present   Consultant/trainer to school districts on the topics: “Effective Reading Strategies for Latino Students,” “Sociocultural Influences on the Teaching of Language Arts to Language Minority Students,” “Parent-School Partnerships,” “Literacy Development in Young Deaf Children, “ “Optimal Literacy Instruction for Migrant Students.” “The Nature of Bilingualism: Implications for Special Education,” ”An Overview of English as a Second Language Methodology for Special Educators,” “Distinguishing a Language Disorder from Normal Bilingual Phenomena.”

Summer 81-82   Instructor, Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, México. Course:” Evaluación de los niños hispanos excepcionales.”

1980-81   Lecturer, Department of Education, University of California at Davis. Field Supervisor for bilingual emphasis and specialist students. Courses: “Teaching in the Elementary Schools,” “Communication Skills for the Bilingual Teacher.”

Senior Research Associate for research project The Validation Study of the System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment (SOMPA)

1977-1980   Bilingual Elementary Teacher, Bilingual Resource Teacher, Tracy, CA.

1977   Migrant Education Teacher, Winters and Davis, CA.

Awards and Professional Appointments

  • Governing Board Member for the Language Academy of Sacramento, a K-8 bilingual school
  • Fulbright Specialist Roster, 2014-2019
  • Special Recognition: Latina Business Women Spotlight, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2011
  • Award: Outstanding Alumna, School of Education, University of California Davis, 2011
  • Award: Bilingual Teacher Preparation Program Award, California Association of Bilingual Education Board Award, 2010
  • Award: Outstanding Teaching, School of Education, Stanford University, 2005
  • Award: Mary Laboskey Award for Outstanding Teaching in Teacher Education, Stanford University, 2004
  • Award: Outstanding Teacher, 1997, College of Education, CSUS
  • Appointment Editorial Board, Bilingual Research Journal, 2010-present
  • Reviewer- Journal of Teacher Education, 2015-present
  • Appointment: Editorial Board, Teacher Education Quarterly, 2005- 2010
  • Appointment: Editorial Board, California Reader, 2002- 2005
  • Appointment: Editorial Board, Language Arts, 1996- 2007
  • Appointment: Commission on Language, 1998 to 2001, National Council of Teachers of English


  • University of California Teacher Education Research and Improvement Network, April 2018- April 2019, $28,000.
  • California Department of Education, Nov. 2010- June 2011, Professional Development for Teachers of Indigenous Migrant Students, $187,000
  • Migrant Education Migrant Education Achievement Academy, Summer 2007, CSUS- $135,000
  • U.S. Department of Education, California Bi-national Teacher Education Program, 2007-2012, CSUS: $1,400,000
  • Teachers for a New Era Grant, 2004-05,“Changes in Teacher Candidates’ Paradigms and Practice Related to the Education of English Learners,” Stanford University: $21,000.
  • Koret Grant, 2005-05, “Stanford Teacher Education Program- Elementary, Stanford University: $100,000
  • California State Department of Education (Office of Special Education and International Office of Migrant Education, 1994-June 2004, The OLE & Migrant/OLE Projects, CSUS: Over 5 million dollars


2016   Ruiz, N.T., Baird, P.J. & Torres Hernández, P. Field practice in La Mixteca: Teacher education in service of Mexican indigenous students in U.S. schools. Journal of Latinos in Education, DOI: 10.1080/15348431.2015.1066256.

2013   Ruiz, N.T. It’s different with second language learners: Acknowledging 40 years of research in our instruction.  In Dudley-Marling, C. and Michaels, S.(eds.) High-expectation curricula: Helping all students succeed with powerful learning. New York: Teachers College Press, pp. 145-161.

2013   Ruiz, N.T. & Baird, P.J. Transnational teacher education: Theory and practice. NABE Journal of Research and Practice,4, Feb. 7.

In press   Ruiz, N.T., Barajas, M., McGinty, I. & Romo, D. Weaving learning communities across borders: Mexican indigenous students and families in California.  Sacramento, CA: Office of Migrant, Indian, and International Education, California Department of Education.

2013   Baird, P.J. & Ruiz, N.T. Fighting for a transnational third space in teacher education.  In L. William-White, D. Muccular, G. Muccular & A.F. Brown (eds.) Critical consciousness in Curriculum Research: Evidence from the Field. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 183-205.

 2012   Ruiz, N.T. & Barajas, M. Multiple perspectives on the schooling of Mexican Indigenous students in the U.S.: Issues for Future Research. Bilingual Research Journal, 35: 125-144.

2011   Ruiz, N.T. & Gold, N. Review of Improving education for English learners: Research-based approaches by California Department of Education. Education Review//Reseñas educativas, 14, June 7, 2011.

2010   Ruiz, N.T. & Lozano, A. S. Increasing accountability in the preparation of teachers to work with English Learners: The Teacher Education English Learner Survey (TEELS).  AccELLerate, a journal of the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA), Winter Issue.

2009   Ruiz, N.T., Lotan, R. Lozano, A., Berta-Avila, M., & Arellano, A. The Teacher Education English Learner Survey (TEELS)- Pilot Version. California State University, Sacramento.

2007   Ruiz, N.T. & Lotan, R. (2007). Development of a survey to track changes in teacher candidates’ knowledge and preferences related to the education of English Learners: The Teacher Education English Learner Survey (TEELS). Paper presented at the annual conference of the U.C. Linguistic Minority Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ.

2006   Ruiz, N.T. (2006). How can we best serve migrant English learner populations? In Hamayan, E. & Freeman, R. (eds.) English language learners at school: A guide for administrators. Philadelphia: Caslon.

2006   Ruiz, N.T. & Lotan, R. Changes in teacher candidates’ knowledge and dispositions Related to the Education of English Learners. Paper presented at AERA, San Francisco, CA.

2005   Ruiz, N.T. & Morales-Ellis, L. “Thank you but I’ll be looking for another job:” A first-year teacher resists high-stakes curriculum.  In Altwerger, B. (ed.) Reading for Profit. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

2002   Ruiz, N.T., Vargas, E. & Beltrán, A. Becoming a reader and writer in a bilingual special education classroom. Language Arts, 79(4), pp. 297-309.

2001   Enguídanos, T. & Ruiz, N.T. “No olviden traer sus vidas; Yo traigo la mía”: Shared reading for older, emergent readers in bilingual classrooms. L. Denti & P. T. Cousins (eds.) New ways of looking at learning disabilities: Connections to classroom practice. Denver, CO: Love Publications, pp. 199-222.

2000   A review of El modelo de atención educativa de nivel primaria para niños y niñas migrantes (Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1999): Optimizing language and literacy instruction for bilingual, migrant students. Mexico City: Secretaría de Educación Pública.

1999   Effective literacy instruction for Latino students receiving special education services: A review of classroom research. T. Fletcher & C. Bos (eds.), Mexico and U.S. perspectives on disabilities. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Review Press, pp. 161-174.

1999   Figueroa, R.A. & Ruiz, N.T. Minority underrepresentation in gifted programs: Old programs, new perspectives. In A. Tashakkori & S.H. Ochoa (eds.) Readings on equal education(vol. 16): Education of Hispanics in the United  States: Politics, policies and outcomes. New York: AMS Press, Inc., pp. 119-142.

1997   Ruiz, N.T. (1997) Effective literacy instruction for bilingual students in special education. Regional Symposium on Race, Language and Special Education. Washington, D.C.: Project Forum, pp. 48-56.

1997   Ruiz, N.T. & Enguídanos, T.  Authenticity and advocacy in assessment:  The case of bilingual students in special education. Primary Voices, 5(3), 35-46.

1996   Ruiz, N.T. A young deaf child explores punctuation. In N. Hall & A. Robinson (eds.) Learning about punctuation. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Pp. 109-127.

1996   Ruiz, N. T., & Figueroa, R. A.  Creating optimal learning environments for bilingual students:  The OLE Project. Hispanic Caucus Newsletter The Council for Exceptional Children.

1996   Ruiz, N.T., García, E., & Figueroa, R.A.  The OLE curriculum guide: Creating Optimal Learning Environments for bilingual students in general and special education classrooms.  Sacramento, CA:  California Bureau of Publications.

1996   Ruiz, N.T., Figueroa, R.A., Sánchez-Boyce, M., & Johnston, R.  The OLE Video Series, 1-5.  Sacramento, CA:  The OLE Project.

1995   Ruiz, N.T., & Figueroa, R. A.  Learning-handicapped classrooms with Latino students:  The optimal learning environment.  Education in Urban Society, 27, 463-483

1995a   Ruiz, N.T. The social construction of learning abilities and disabilities, I: Profile types of Latino children identified as language learning disabled.  Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28, 476-490.

1995b   Ruiz, N.T. The social construction of learning abilities and disabilities, II: Optimal and at-risk lessons in a bilingual special education classroom.  Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28, 491-502.

1995   Ruiz, N.T., Rueda, R., Figueroa, R.A., & Boothroyd, M. Shifting paradigms of bilingual special education teachers: Complex responses to educational reform. Journal of Learning Disabilities., 28, 622-635.

1995c   Ruiz, N.T. A young deaf child learns to write: Implications for literacy development. The Reading Teacher, 49, 206-217.

1995   Rueda, R., Ruiz, N.T., & Figueroa, R.A. Issues in the implementation of innovative instructional strategies. Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, 1(1), 12-22.

1994   Author for Heath Literacy. A K-6 language arts program. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath

1994   Author for Bibliotecas en español, a 1-6 Spanish reading program. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.

1994   Ruiz, N.T. Enriching the curriculum to meet individual needs. In Heath Literacy. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.

1994   Figueroa, R.A. & Ruiz, N.T. The reconstruction of special education, II. Forum on Diversity,(4)2, 2-3, Spring.

1994   Ruiz, N.T.  Software Reviews: Decimal Fraction Maze; Spanish/English Version. CUE Newsletter, July/August, v. 14, 4.

1993   Figueroa, R.A. & Ruiz, N.T. Bilingual pupils and special education: A reconceptualization. In R.C. Eaves and P. McLaughlin (Eds.) Recent advances in special education and rehabilitation. Stoneham, MA: Andover Medical Publishers.

1993   Englebretson, R., Hiebert, E.H., Juel, C., Ruiz, N.T. Interactive phonics: Discovering the code.  Needham, MA: Silver Burdett & Ginn.

1992   Delgado-Gaitan, C. & Ruiz, N.T. Parent mentorship: Socializing children to school culture. Educational Foundations, 6, 45-70.

1992   Ruiz, N.T., Figueroa, R. A. & Rueda, R.S. History and status of bilingual pupils in special education. In R. Padilla & A. Benavides (Eds.), Critical  perspectives on bilingual education research). Tempe, AZ: The Bilingual Review/Press, 349-380.

1990   Ruiz, N.T., Figueroa, R.A. & Rueda, R.S. Special Education Research Project for Learning Handicapped Hispanic Pupils: The OLE Model.  Research Proposal, University of California at  Davis.

l989a   Ruiz, N.T. An optimal learning environment for Rosemary. Exceptional Children, 56, 29-41.

1989b   Ruiz, N.T. Towards understanding the impact of   cultural factors on Hispanic children’s school performance: A guide for student study teams. Manuscript commissioned by the Primus Group, Office of Special Education, California Department of Education.

1988a   Ruiz, N.T. Language for learning in a bilingual special education classroom. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Stanford University.

1988b   Ruiz, N.T. The nature of bilingualism: Implications for special education. Sacramento: California Department of Education.

1988c   Ruiz, N.T. The Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Curriculum Guide: A resource for teachers of  Spanish-speaking children in learning handicapped programs. Unpublished manuscript, University of California at Davis, Division of Education.

1984   Figueroa, R.A., Delgado, G. & Ruiz, N.T. Assessment of Hispanic children: Implications for Hispanic hearing impaired children. In G.L. Delgado, The Hispanic Deaf . Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet College Press.

1983   Figueroa, R.A. & Ruiz, N.T. The bilingual special education dictionary. Oakland, CA: National Hispanic University.

Recent Presentations

June 2018   Presenter at the International Conference 14th Seminario SEÑALEES.  Title: “Pequeños escritores: Estrategias para desarrollar la escritura: Proyecto OLÉ.” Instituto Pedagógico para Problemas del Lenguaje, Mexico City, Mexico.

March 2018   Presenter at the annual conference of the California Association of Bilingual Education.  Title: “The Benefits of Explicit Translation in Bilingual Language Arts Lessons.” Sacramento, California.

March 2018   Presenter at the annual conference of the California Association of Bilingual Education.  Title: “Improving Writing Conventions in L1 and L2: Mensaje de la mañana/Morning Message in the Primary and Intermediate Grades.” Sacramento, California.

March 2018   Presenter at the annual conference of the California Association of Bilingual Education.  Title: “The Power of Choice for Emergent Writers K-4: Interactive Journals.” Sacramento, California.

January 2017   Keynote speaker at the International Conference on Evidence-Based Strategies to Support Bilingual Education in Spain and the US. Title: “The OLÉ Project: Creating Optimal Learning Environments for Language and Content Integration in the Second Language.” Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.

June 2016   Keynote speaker at the International Conference 12 Seminario SEÑALEES.  Title: “Hacia un ambiente óptimo de aprendizaje para niños sordos: Proyecto OLÉ.” Instituto Pedagógico para Problemas del Lenguaje, Mexico City, Mexico.

June 2013   Presenter at the First International Conference on Bilingual Education in a Globalized World. Title: “Preparing Bilingual Teachers for Transnational Students: The Case of Mexico and the United States. Universidad de Alacalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

April 2013   Presenter at conference symposium on High Expectation Curricula. Title: “It’s Different with Second Language Learners: Acknowledging 40 Years of Research in Our Instruction.” Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

April 2013   Co-presenter and co-author of paper. Title:-“A Documentary Account and Analysis of Field Practice “en la Mixteca”: Teacher Education in Service of Mexican Indigenous Students and Families. Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

April 2012   Co-presenter and co-author of paper. Title- “Multiple Perspectives on the Schooling of Mexican Indigenous Students in the U.S.” Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association, Vancouver, BC, April.

April 2012   Co-presenter of poster session. Title: “Serving English Learners through Transnational Teacher Preparation.” Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association, New Orleans, LA, April.

December 7, 2011   Co-presenter at the Conference on Global Exchange, Service Learning and Reflections, organized by the General Education Honors Program and International Honors Society of Phi Beta Delta. Title: “Transnational Teacher Education: Theory and Practice.” CSU Sacramento.

August 2011   Keynote speaker at the Region 11 Migrant Education Conference. Title: “Transnational Students in Mexico and the U.S.: Realities and Possibilities.” Watsonville, CA.

April 2011   Presenter at the Annual Conference of the American Education Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Title: “Son Menos Mexicanos (They’re Less Mexican)”; Research on U.S. Transnational Students in Mexican Schools.

February 2011   Co-presenter, National Association of Bilingual Education, New Orleans, LA.  Title” “To Mexico with Love: Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers in a Bi-National Setting.”

October, 2010   Co-Presenter at the Conference of the California Council on Teacher Education, San Diego, CA. Title: “The 2010 CSU BiNational Teacher Education Program.”

November 2010   Presenter, Multicultural Education Conference, Sacramento, CA. Title: “Mexican and U.S. Transnational Students.”

March 2010   Invited Distinguished Lecturer, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. Title:  “Creating Optimal Learning Environments For Bilingual Students in Special and General Education.”

March 2010   Co-presenter, California Association of Bilingual Education. Title:  “International Bilingual Credential Program: The Best of Two Worlds, Two Languages for Our Children.”

March 2009   Invited Distinguished Lecturer, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. Title:  “Creating Optimal Learning Environments For Bilingual Students in Special and General Education.”

December 2009   Presenter, Annual Conference at the California Association of School Boards, San Diego, CA: Title: “Developing Academic English in English Learners.”

April 2009   Presenter, International Conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Guadalajara, Mexico. Title: “Bilingual, Bi-National Teacher Preparation.”

March 2009   Invited Distinguished Lecturer, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. Title:  “Creating Optimal Learning Environments For Bilingual Students in Special and General Education.”

March 2008   Invited Distinguished Lecturer, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. Title:  “Creating Optimal Learning Environments For Bilingual Students in Special and General Education.”

August 2007   Keynote at Vancouver Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Academy, Vancouver, Washington.

May 2007   Presenter at the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute Conference, Arizona State University. Title: “Development of a Survey to Track Changes in Teacher Candidates’ Knowledge and Preferences Related to the Education of English Learners: The Teacher Education English Learner Survey (TEELS).” Tempe, Arizona.

April 2007   Keynote at the symposium “Misplaced: Causes and Consequences for English Learners in and out of Special Education, Harvard University, Title: “Optimal Learning Environments for English Learners in Special and General Education.”

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