Liston, Andrea

Andrea Liston

  • Associate Dean for Accreditation, Assessment & Mission Valley Programs
  • Professor of Education, Mission Valley Regional Center
  • NCATE Coordinator
  • Phone: 619-563-2836


  • Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Higher Education, Argosy University, Orange County, CA.
  • M.A. in Special Education, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.
  • Certificate: Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA.
  • Certificate: Resource Specialist, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.
  • B.S. in Special Education, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL.


Dr. Liston is one of 13 grandchildren belonging to Eleanor Krueger, a 4th grade school teacher in the city of Chicago from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. Her grandmother’s unwavering display of compassion, creativity, encouragement, and presence ensured that the children in her classroom were afforded a good education. Grandma Eleanor gifted Dr. Liston with the faith and confidence to believe that she could continue in her Grandmother’s footsteps and become a teacher that made a difference in children’s lives.  For Dr. Liston, making a difference in contemporary education means creating inclusive environments where all students, regardless of race, gender, or ability have opportunities to receive a high-quality education. Graduating from Western Illinois University in 1974, she entered the teaching force at a time when free appropriate public education (FAPE) had just become federal law. Young and ambitious, she worked with district staff to ensure that children with disabilities came forward from their makeshift schools in church basements and homes to receive the education they deserved. Since that time, she has continued to make a difference in creating inclusive educational experiences for all children.

In the early 80’s Dr. Liston moved to San Diego, CA and continued her work in the field of special education. While employed with San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), she served on various task forces to eliminate segregated schooling for students with disabilities.  Following the piloting of two programs promoting the inclusion of individuals with severe disabilities, she moved to the district’s central office and assumed a variety of roles and responsibilities to include professional development, technical assistance to schools, special education service coordination for charter schools, intern teacher support and coordination, new teacher induction coordination, and curriculum development. SDUSD’s partnerships with universities opened the door for her to experience teaching in higher education as an adjunct professor. It was through these partnerships that she developed a passion for preparing teachers and pursued a doctorate degree at Argosy University. Dr. Liston joined the Point Loma School of Education in 2006 as a Professor of Education.  Currently, she teaches special education coursework with a particular focus on the diversity in the classrooms of the 21st century. Dr. Liston provides technical assistance to private school systems and local school districts.


Dr. Liston’s research interests are in the areas of inclusive education, universal access, co-teaching, peer support systems, and paraeducator professional development. Her doctoral work focused dissertation on co-teaching: “Evaluation of the Status of a Co-teaching Instructional Delivery Approach in Urban and Multicultural Secondary Settings.” Dr. Liston’s research has been presented at The Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) Conference, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), The California Council on Teacher Education CCTE), and The National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NRCP). 

Recent Presentations
Liston, A., & Thousand, J.  (2010, June). Working Smarter to Differentiate Instruction through Co-Teaching. Presented at the San Diego Unified School District Summer Institute, San Diego, CA.

Liston, A., & Wong, A. (2009, July). Peer tutoring: Hear the voice of tutors and tutees as natural peer supports increasing student success, empowerment, and inclusion. Presented at the 11th Annual San Diego Summer Leadership Institute, California State University, San Marcos.

Liston, A. (2009, April). A Mixed-Methods Study of Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms: The California Experience. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Liston, A., Nevin, A., & Malian, I. (2009, April). Paraeducators in Inclusive Settings Share Their WIZdom – What Do They Do? How Do They Do It? What Do They Need to Do It Better? Presented at the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.

Liston, A., Nevin, A., & Malian, I. (2008, April). What Do Paraeducators in Inclusive Classrooms Say About Their Work? Presented at the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference in Hartford, CO.

Liston, A. & Gibbs, S. (2007, October). Special Education Conceptual Framework, Roundtable discussion presented at the California Council on Teacher Education in San Diego, CA.

Liston, A., Gibbs, S. & Trousdale, L. (2007, November). Intern Partnerships. Presented at the BTSA, Intern State Conference in Sacramento, CA.

Liston, A., & Gibbs, S. (2006, November). The Co-Teaching Instructional Delivery Model. Presented at the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children in San Diego, CA.

Liston, A., Thousand, J., Nevin, A., & McNeil, M. (2006, November). Differentiating Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms: Myth or Reality? Presented at the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children in San Diego, CA.

Liston, A., Thousand, J. McNeil, M. (2006, November). Educating All students for the Future: Strengthening Special Education and General Education Partnerships. Presented at the California Council on Teacher Education in San Diego, CA.

Cramer, E., Liston, A., Nevin, A., & Thousand, J. (2006, January). Co-Teaching in Urban School Districts to Meet the Needs of all Teachers and Learners: Implications for Teacher Education Reform. Paper Prepared for Presentation at the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education Conference in San Diego.


Dr. Liston has had the good fortune of being mentored by established professionals in the field of education who value and practice collaboration in its truest sense. It is only through this collaboration that she has been able to share her expertise and continue her journey as a reflective educator and add new knowledge to the field of education and teacher preparation. Her ministry is to “pay forward” the mentoring support that she received and assist inspiring educators in realizing their dreams as future teachers and leaders in their field.


EDU 651 Curricular and Instructional Adaptations for Student with Mild/Moderate Disabilities
EDU 652 Collaboration & Consultation for IEP Implementation, Evaluation, & Program Improvement
EDU 654 Methods for Teaching Candidates with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
EDU 655 Organization & Management for Success in the Moderate/Severe Classroom
GED 616 Curriculum Development, Innovation & Evaluation
GED 634 Transition Services for Students with Disabilities
GED 677 Teaching Strategies for Special Populations


CONNECTEDNESS: Has faith in the links between all things. Belief that there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
ACHIEVER: Has a great deal of stamina and work hard. Takes great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
STRATEGIC: Creates alternative ways to proceed. With any given scenario, can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
DISCIPLINE: Enjoys routine and structure. The world is best described by the order that is created.
BELIEF: Has certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerge a defined purpose in life.


Liston, A., Cramer, E. Nevin, A. Thousand, J. (Pending). Co-teaching in urban secondary U.S. school districts to meet the needs of all teachers and learners: Implications for teacher education reform. International Journal of Whole Schooling.

Liston, A., Nevin, A., Malian, I., Moores-Abdool, W.,  Marshall, D., Voigt, J., Salazar, M., Gonzalez, L.,  & Escarpio, R.,  (2008). A Multi-site mixed methods study of paraeducators in inclusive classrooms: Pilot study results & preliminary analysis of national survey data. Eric Document # 499806.

Liston, A., Malian, I., & Nevin, A. (2009). What do paraeducators in inclusive classrooms say about their work? Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, Volume 5, Issue 5.

Liston, A ., Villa, R., Thousand, J., & Nevin, A., (2005). Successful inclusive practices in middle and secondary schools. American Secondary Education, 33, 33–49.