Marilyn Friend, Inc. is a corporation established in North Carolina in 2002 and currently located in Virginia and Washington, DC. The corporation offers products and services, primarily for professional educators, related to collaboration and teamwork, inclusive practices, and co-teaching.

Marilyn Friend, Ph.D., is an educator whose preparation, employment, and other professional experiences have made her an internationally recognized expert on co-teaching. Here are some highlights of her career.

Award-Winning Teacher and Teacher Educator

Dr. Friend began her career as a general education teacher and shortly thereafter became a special educator. She taught in three school districts during this time, in Virginia and Indiana. After earning her doctoral degree from Indiana University, she worked as a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, Northern Illinois University, Indiana University-Purdue University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, respectively. At UNCG, she was chair of the Department of Specialized Education Services. In 2016 her contributions as a teacher educator were recognized when she was awarded the Teacher Education Division/Pearson Excellence in Special Education Teacher Education Award.

Internationally Acclaimed Public Speaker, Staff Developer, and Expert

Dr. Friend has collaborated with school professionals nationally and internationally (more than 3500 presentations and projects in the United States, Canada, Panama, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, India, Qatar, Kenya, and Indonesia) as they collaborate to educate diverse groups of students. She has been a Fulbright scholar in Portugal, where she prepared teachers for their collaborative roles and offered professional development for local educators. In the U.S., she has offered keynote speeches, one- or two-day workshops, and ongoing professional development and consultation to more than 300 schools, school districts, regional agencies, and state departments of education. Dr. Friend is known for her respect for education professionals, her real-world and down-to-earth ideas, and her ability to keep groups engaged (and often laughing) while learning about and reflecting on the critical endeavor of educating students with disabilities.


Across her career, Dr. Friend has published more than 70 articles and chapters in refereed professional journals and books. These works have included original research, literature reviews, translation of research to practice, and models of collaboration practices.


Dr. Friend is the author or co-author of three widely-adopted Pearson college textbooks on topics related to special education, inclusive practices, and collaboration. In addition, she offers two teacher-friendly manuals through her company. She also has authored or co-authored other print materials on co-teaching, and she is the co-producer on a series of videos about co-teaching and other inclusive practices. You can find detail about her publications in the Products section of this website.

Advocate for Teachers, Students, and Families of Children with Disabilities

Commitment to the field of special education is also part of Dr. Friend’s work. She is an active and involved member of the Council for Exceptional Children and is a past-president of that organization, the largest in the world that advocates on behalf of children and youth with disabilities and gifts/talents and their families. She also belongs to several other professional organizations related to special education , educational research, and general education.


Co-Teach! A handbook for creating and sustaining classroom partnerships in inclusive schools.