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San Diego State University

Community College Leadership programs


Nan Zhang Hampton, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education at San Diego State University. Prior to joining the faculty at SDSU in 2005, Dr. Hampton was an associate professor at University of Massachusetts-Boston from 1996-2005. At SDSU, she teaches courses in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program and the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadershlip.

Dr. Hampton's research focus on cultural and psychological impacts on educational achievement, career development, and quality of life of people with disabilities, particularly, those from underserved immigrants/ethnic minorities in the U.S. She has conducted a series of investigations on cultural impacts on perceptions of disabilities, attitudes toward disabilities, and quality of life in people with disabilities. Her research findingds have been published in the most influential journals (e.g., Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, Journal of Rehabilitation) in the rehabilitation counseling field. She found that some traditional cultural values of ethnic minorities were positively correlated with rehabilitation outcomes. By providing empirical evidence, this body of work documented the contribution of some traditional ethnic cultural values to individuals' coping with disabilities and shed light on the importance of focusing on cultural assests of clients from underserved and underrepresented populations.

Taking a positive psychology approach, Dr. Hampton has studied the role of self-efficacy in educational and rehabilitation outcomes for people with disabilities. Findings of these studies have been published in the most influential rehabilitation journals. She found that self-efficacy mediated the influences of disability and health statuses on academic achievement, career development, and quality of life in people with disabilities. The low self-efficacy levels of people with disabilities were due to the lack of access to the sources of self-efficacy. This body of work provided support to the self-efficacy theory and expanded the scope of self-efficacy research by including populations such as people with disabilities nationally and internationally.

Dr. Hampton is also interested in international comparative studies. She has conducted studies in China, Japan, Thailand, and the UK, and has published findings of these studies in influential international rehabilitation journals such as Disability and Rehabilitation and International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. These studies empirically assessed the cultural interpretations of disability and quality of life. Findings of the studies moved one step further towards closing the gap in the literature. Her efforts have been recognized by rehabilitation researchers and practitioners around the world. She has received requests for copies of her publications from researchers in Australia, Canada, China, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK, and the U.S. 

Other experiences of Dr. Hampton include: She is a Fulbright Senior Researcheri, a recipient of a research fellowship granted by the Royal Association for Rehabilitation and Disability (the UK), a recipient of a research fellowship granted by the Perkins School for the Blind, MA., and two times recipient of the Asian American Research Fellowship awarded by the Institute for Asian American Studies, Boston, MA. Dr. Hampton was a coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at UMB and SDSU, respectively. Currently, she is a member of the Editorial Board of an American Psychological Association journal - Rehabilitation Psychology (APA Division 22 journal).

Curriculum Vitae 

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Contact Us

Wendy Bracken, EdD
Program Faculty Director
EdD in Community College Leadership

Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, & Postsecondary Education (ARPE/Interwork Institute)
San Diego State University
Education & Business Administration 246
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182

Office Hours

Monday –  Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.