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Educational and School Psychology Department News: February 2014

Runge Discusses Benefits of Membership in Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania

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Timothy Runge, associate professor in the Department of Educational and School Psychology, published an article entitled “How Will You Serve” in InSight, the triannual newsletter of the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania (ASPP).

Runge discussed the common responses school psychologists provide when asked if they are a member of ASPP. He has come across three different responses: “Yes,” “I let my membership lapse a few years ago,” and “No, because I’m not sure what ASPP does for me.”

Throughout the article, Runge highlights the many ways ASPP, its members, and others have positively impacted the field of school psychology.

Educational and School Psychology

Alumna Smith Gives Enlightening Speech at Educational and School Psychology Winter Graduation

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At the Educational and School Psychology 2013 winter graduation ceremony, doctoral program alumna Christina Smith discussed two laws that together comprise only 13 words. Smith believes that these 13 words, however, are of such indescribable importance and wisdom that they will determine the success or failure of our lives during every waking second.

The first is “As you sow, so shall you reap.” And the second, “We become what we think about.” Smith explained that everything we have or will have, everything we are or will become, and everything we experience in life will be determined by our responses to these two simple determinants.

Smith was born in Italy. She received her BS in psychology from Lipscomb University with a minor in chemistry and math, her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from IUP in 2004, her Certification in School Psychology from IUP in 2006, and her Doctorate of Education in School Psychology from IUP in 2013. Her academic interests are heavy in special education law and research. She loves teaching and delivering presentations.

Smith also enjoys traveling, and has spent three summers living with the Amerindians in Guyana, South America. She will be traveling there again this coming July with a group of three individuals for three weeks to do mission work, work with the hospital, and conduct trainings for teachers on educational practices. Smith will also bring some reading textbooks for the school teachers and will work out of a one-room school house that educates K-12 students.

In her free time, Smith enjoys running and will be competing in the Cook Forest half marathon in March. She is looking forward to running through the jungle in the northern section of the Amazon rainforest as well. She is also an avid reader and continues to study the Italian language.

Her advice to grad students studying school psychology: 

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be careful what you think. If you think you can, you will. You get one chance. One life. Be fearless!”

Educational and School Psychology

Vice President of Middle States Commission on Higher Education Hosted by Runge, Educational and School Psychology

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On February 26, 2014, Timothy Runge, the Department of Educational and School Psychology, and IUP’s Middle States Steering Committee hosted Debra Klinman,  vice president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is a voluntary, non-governmental membership association that evaluates higher education institutions and is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Runge serves on the Middle States Steering Committee for the higher education accreditation process and is also a subcommittee chair. IUP has been accredited by the commission since 1941. Accreditation review takes place every 10 years, and IUP will be reviewed in 2015.

The forum was free and open to the community, and was designed to provide persons with an opportunity to meet Klinman in her role as IUP’s liaison to the MSCHE and to discuss IUP’s Self Study Design Plan, IUP’s roadmap for its comprehensive accreditation review taking place during the next two years. The Self Study outlines the major research questions the IUP community will ask in order to assess how well the university is achieving the 14 Middle States Standards of Excellence.

The Self Study Design Plan was developed in Fall 2013 through an inclusive and collaborative process involving the IUP Middle States Steering Committee and seven subcommittees, which include more than 180 IUP faculty, staff, administrators and students.

Educational and School Psychology

Six Presentations from Educational and School Psychology Faculty and Students at National School Psychology Conference

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Students and faculty from the Department of Educational and School Psychology are contributing six presentations at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) conference in February 2014, underscoring IUP’s leadership in the field.

Faculty and students are presenting on topics that include assessment, mental health services, and school-wide positive behavior and intervention support.

The NASP conference will be held in Washington, D.C. on February 18–22.

NASP’s mission is to empower school psychologists by advancing effective practices to improve students’ mental health, behavior, and learning.

Determining Special Education Eligibility using Students’ Rate of Improvement Data

Boneshefski, M. & Kovaleski, J. F. (2014, February). Paper presented at the National Association of School Psychologists convention, Washington, DC.

Determining rate of improvement (ROI) is a key feature of using RTI to determine SLD eligibility. Using progress-monitoring data, a student’s current ROI can be extrapolated into the future and compared to a needed ROI to achieve at a minimal level of proficiency. Practitioners will learn how ROI projections may be used to make more informed eligibility decisions.

Practical Uses of Curriculum-Based Measurement in Written Expression

Edman, E., & Runge, T. (2014). Presentation at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, Washington, DC.

This session will help participants develop practical skills in administering and scoring CBM-WE probes, as well as developing local norms. Recent research will be shared on predictive validity of CBM-WE scores with high-stakes writing assessments and student performance patterns. Specific recommendations will be given for administration of CBM-WE at the upper elementary level.  Participants should be able to independently perform skills learned, with practice. 

Using Response to Instruction and Intervention for SLD Determination

Hall, R. E., Kovaleski, J. F., Schonour, B., & Brady, K. (2014, February). Mini-skills session presented at the National Association of School Psychologists convention, Washington, DC.

This mini skills session will describe the status of RtI in Pennsylvania. We will review the four criteria for SLD determination and provide rationales for using the RtI framework for eligibility decisions. A brief review of the RtI framework used in one Pennsylvania school district will be offered. We will specifically describe how data are harvested from a student’s history of response to instruction and interventions through the three tiers of increased instruction and intervention intensity. The discussion will describe how these data are used within a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation (MDE) to make the eligibility decision. We will outline how the RtI data are used to address the four criteria used for determining SLD eligibility in Pennsylvania. The process will be illustrated using two case studies.

The Missing Link? SWPBIS and Academic Performance

Hall, T., & Runge, T. ( 2014). Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychology, Washington, DC.

Preparedness of School Psychology for Counseling and Intervention

Lattanzio, L. S., McLaughlin, C. L, & Braithwaite, R. L. (2014) Poster Presentation at the annual meeting of the National Association Of School Psychologists, Washington, DC.

The purpose of this poster is to provide information about ongoing research regarding the preparedness of school psychologists to provide counseling and intervention services in the schools to children in need. Online surveys have been disseminated to state school psychologist associations, and data is currently being collected. Participation in the survey will assist in determining correlational relationships between the following: participants’ report of counseling experiences in their internship and their engagement in counseling services within their current jobs; and, between university training for delivery of counseling services and delivery of those services within participants’ current jobs. Information gathered from the surveys may potentially influence the future structure of training programs for school psychologists. 

Mental Health Systems Change: It Starts with the School Psychologist

McLaughlin, C. L. (2014). Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychology, Washington, DC.

Many school professionals see the vast amount of need for increased mental health supports and services within the school systems.  Due to a variety of barriers, too often the mental health needs of children and adolescents go unmet.   During this presentation, attendees will be able to identify an initiative they can take towards the development of a more comprehensive model of mental health service delivery.

Educational and School Psychology

Education and School Psychology Department Wins Two-Minute Vine Contest

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Due to construction around the new Humanities building site during the Fall semester, campus walking routes were detoured. The IUP social media team timed the new route, and the detour added two minutes to the walk. The social media team held a contest asking students to come up with a way to save two minutes, using a six-second Vine.

Julie Vandervort and Nicole Ellis, students in the Educational and School Psychology Department, entered a Vine video into the campuswide Vine contest and won! Their Vine featured the HUB Fitness Center, which showed Nicole exercising while studying to save time.

Their efforts were awarded with an IUP clock. The Vine was posted to the IUP School Psychology Vine, supervised by Courtney McLaughlin, faculty member in the Educational and School Psychology Department.

The IUP School Psychology Vine can be accessed on the IUP School Psychology vine page. Congratulations Julie and Nicole!  

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