Dr. Don Finn has been a faculty member since 2006 and assumed the role of School of Education Dean in July 2015. Specializing in Adult Education, he has been an educator for over 25 years and possesses a current Virginia Postgraduate Professional teaching license in secondary education.
Dr. Finn earned his B.S. in Secondary Education, Social Sciences concentration and his M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with an Adult Education concentration from Radford University. He taught 7th through 12th grade social studies and in the adult night high school program in Montgomery County, Virginia. In 1999, he accepted a position to provide statewide leadership through the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center located at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). While at the VCU School of Education, he served as a collateral faculty member, a grant and project coordinator and instructor. He earned his Ph.D. in Adult Education and Organizational Learning from VCU in 2005.
His service has included leadership at the state and national levels as president of the Virginia Association for Adult & Continuing Education (VAACE) and various appointed roles, and as an elected executive board member for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE). His COABE service includes: Secretary, Region 2 representative (2013-2015), national conference chairman (2012, 2015, 2018), conference program chairman (2016 & 2017), and President-Elect (2017-2019). He has been a textbook consultant, an article reviewer for select journals, and a consultant to adult education programs in Virginia and other states.
Finn has served on various Regent University committees including chairing the university Curriculum and Instruction Review Committee (CIRC), faculty senator, chairman of the School of Education Doctoral program and the Masters of Curriculum & Instruction (M.Ed.) program. He was named the School of Education Outstanding Faculty Member in 2010, VAACE Outstanding Adult Education Leader in 2013 and received the 2014 VAACE President's Award for outstanding service.
Finn has authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters about effective instructional practices for adult learners, university professors and other diverse learners.
2014 President's Outstanding Service Award presented by the Virginia Association for Adult & Continuing Education (VAACE)
2013 Outstanding Adult Education Leadership Award presented by the Virginia Association for Adult & Continuing Education (VAACE)
2009-2010 Professor of the Year, Regent University, School of Education
2008 & 2009 Finalist; Higher Education Early Career Award, Commission of Professors of Adult Education (CPAE), a division of the American Association for Adult & Continuing Education (AAACE).
Finn, D.E., Getzel, E.E., Asselin, S.B., & Reilly, V. (2015). implementing universal design: Collaborations across the campus in S. Burgstahler (Ed.), Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice (2nd Ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education.
Finn, D.E. (Spring, 2014) Adult learners need c.a.r.e. Texas Adult Education and Literacy Quarterly, 18 (2). Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning
Finn, D.E. (Winter, 2014) Adult ed 101: Understanding and applying the principles of andragogy. Texas Adult Education and Literacy Quarterly, 18 (1). Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning
Swezey, J.A. & Finn, D.E. (Winter 2013) Faculty perceptions of teacher professionalism in Christian schools The Journal of the International Christian Community for Teacher Education (ICCTE)
Finn D.E. (Fall, 2011) Principles of adult learning: An esl context. Journal of Adult Education Information Series, 40 (1). Mountain Plains Adult Education Association
Finn, D.E. (2011). The Law of Responsibility in A. Arroyo & H. Jordan (Eds.), The secret kingdom for educators (p.p. 145-155). New York: Pearson.
Swezey, J.A., Finn, D.E. (2010) A preliminary investigation of faculty perceptions of teacher professionalism in Christian schools. Private School Monitor, 31(3), 1-10.
Finn, D.E., Swezey, J.A., & Warren, D.P. (2010) An investigation of the perceived professional development needs of teachers and administrators in ps-12 Christian schools. Journal of Research on Christian Education 19, (1).
Finn, D.E., & Swezey, J.A. (2009, April) An investigation of the perceived professional development needs of teachers and administrators in k-12 Christian schools. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Diego, CA.
Finn, D.E., & Klein, J.W. (2009). Universal design for transition and postsecondary education in C. Thoma, C., Bartholomew, & L. Scott (Eds.), Universal design for transition: A roadmap for planning and instruction (p.p. 125-137). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Terpstra, J.E., Tamura, R., Finn, D.E., & Unger, D.D. (2009). Using technology to put it all together in C. Thoma, C., Bartholomew, & L. Scott (Eds.), Universal design for transition: A roadmap for planning and instruction (p.p. 175-201). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Finn, D.E., Getzel, E.E., Asselin, S.B., & Reilly, V. (2008). Implementing universal design: Collaborations across the campus in S. Burgstahler & R. Cory (Eds.), Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice (pp 255-265). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education.
Finn, D.E., Getzel, E.E., & McManus, S. (2008, August). Adapting the self-determined learning model of instruction for college students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals 31(2), 85-93.
Finn, D.E. (2008, Winter). Trouble retaining adults? Consider the team approach. Progress, 20(2), 13.
Finn, D.E. (2007, April 23). An introduction to universal design. eNews: An electronic publication of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Regent University, 7, 9.
Finn, D.E. (2007, Winter). Integrating assistive technology into the adult education classroom. Progress, 19(2), 6-7
Finn, D.E. (2006, Spring). Applying universal design principles to assessments. VCU Teaching: A publication from the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Teaching Excellence, 6, 4.
Finn, D.E., & Thoma, C.A. (2006, January). What is a universal design approach to learning? The Professor's Assistant: An Informational Publication for University Instructors at Virginia Tech.
Getzel, E.E., & Finn, D.E. (2005). Training university faculty.In Wehman, P. H. & Getzel, E.E. (Eds.), Going to College (pp. 199-214). Baltimore: Brookes.
Finn, D. E., Reilly, V., & Asselin, S. (August, 2005). A collaborative model: Helping college faculty implement principles of universal design. Paper presented at the National Association of Higher Education & Disability national conference, Milwaukee, WI.
Finn, D.E. (2005, April). Measuring the effectiveness of online faculty development: Exploring factors related to the integration of universal design concepts by community college professors. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Finn, D.E. (2005, Spring). The findings of a pda study about the effectiveness of online faculty development. VCU Teaching, 5, 6-7.
Finn, D.E. (2004, Fall). Enhancing adult motivation to learn [Review of the book Enhancing adult motivation to learn: A comprehensive guide for teaching all adults]. Progress, 17(1), 15.
Finn, D.E. (2004, Fall). The vcu professional development academy model is being replicated in Virginia. VCU Teaching, 4, 3.
Finn, D.E. (2003, Fall). Universal design: An approach for reaching the greatest number of learners. Progress, 16(1),8-9.
Finn, D.E. (2003, Fall). Universal design for learning (UDL) provides opportunities for effectively reaching diverse learners. VCU Teaching, 1(2), 3.
Finn, D.E. (2000, August). Reasons practitioners use a state literacy resource center. Virginia Adult Education Research Network Practitioner Research Brief.
Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE):
American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers (AALPD)
Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE):
Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) Center for Research in Adult Learning
Steering Committee Member (2008-2013)
National College Transition Network (NCTN)
Virginia's Higher Education Leadership Partners (VA HELP) (2002-2006)
Central Virginia College Quest Executive Planning Committee (2004-2006)