Dr. Mark McGowan, PhD, NCSP

Professor and Licensed Psychologist,Coordinator of the School Psychology Specialist Program, Director of the Child Study Center

Mark McGowan 242A Stouffer Hall
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1175 Maple Street
Indiana, PA 15705-1058

Mark McGowan's Vita

Brief Bio

Mark McGowan joined the faculty in the Department of Educational and School Psychology from Flagstaff, Arizona, where he earned his PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in counseling. He is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, a registrant of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and a nationally certified school psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with culturally diverse populations in both public and private settings.

In his role as a school psychologist, he developed a specialization in working with violent and aggressive youth, with more than five years of experience conducting assessments and serving on threat management teams. He has also worked with school districts in the Phoenix area providing trainings as well as client-, consultee-, and program-centered consultation concerning violence and threat management issues. Additionally, McGowan was a part-time faculty member at Northern Arizona University and has experience working in both behavioral and addiction medicine.

Primary areas of interest include provision of mental health services in educational settings, violence risk and threat assessment, school-based neuropsychological assessment, supervision, and training models within graduate programs.

In his spare time, McGowan enjoys outdoor activities, including mountaineering, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking. However, his first love is spending time with his wife, Anne, and sons, Connor and Ian.

Philosophy of Teaching Statement

"Grounded in a scientist-practitioner model of training, my instructional goals are to further students' professional development by assisting each student in building upon strengths and interests in an interactive learning process that encourages balance among theory, research, and practice. Although objectives and expectations of specific courses vary in accordance with the needs of students and content requirements, this model provides the foundation for my teaching philosophy as well as the context for student learning in my classes. By placing an emphasis on the integration of skill sets into professional training, my intent is to provide students with an educational experience that is motivating, practical, and functional for the development of independent learning skills.

"In designing course format and evaluation requirements, I strive to optimize student engagement and success. By establishing linkages between course objectives and professional goals of students, learners are motivated to adopt an active role in the educational process and individual professional development. Student success is supported through structured and sequenced learning activities that build on skill sets previously mastered or that are developed within the context of the course. Successful outcomes for learning are not merely measured by student comprehension or rote memorization of course material, but by the student's ability to meaningfully apply understandings in situations typically encountered in aspired professional roles. Ultimately, modeling professional roles as scientist and practitioner, students learn how to be discriminating consumers of professional knowledge as each strives to achieve professional excellence in the field of psychology.

"In the classroom, I make an effort to engage students in the learning process through a multimodal approach that includes didactic instruction, collaborative learning activities, modeling/demonstration, supervised practice, and experiential exercises. For example, when I teach the graduate level course in psychological assessment, didactic instruction generally includes my own PowerPoint presentations accompanied by a written outline for students to follow and questions or creative exercises for stimulating class discussion. Integration and application of concepts is encouraged through the use of case studies that require the student to actively engage in problem solving within a practical context. Individual mentoring is also a priority in my teaching. I actively encourage dialogue with students during office hours, by appointment, telephone, and e-mail. I seek student feedback, talk with peers, attend professional meetings, read about and experiment with new methods to continuously improve my teaching techniques and outcomes.

"Currently, school psychologists are called upon to integrate both scientist and practitioner skill sets in their professional roles. This is apparent at the systemic as well as at the individual level in the use of empirically supported treatments and interventions, e.g., implementation of Response to Intervention protocols. This demands that future professionals be equipped, now more than ever, to evaluate, apply, and engage in the process of continued learning in the field. It is my belief that this drive for professional excellence begins in the classroom and is cultivated through the collaborative learning that takes place between student and teacher."