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School psychology program recognized for research

Gary Sasso, dean of the College of Education, says work being done by school psychology faculty "is helping to transform our schools and influence the national research agenda."

Lehigh University’s school psychology program has once again earned national recognition for its research.

In a study published in the Journal of School Psychology, the College of Education program is ranked second in the nation for having the most scholarly productivity and research impact from 2005-09. Fifty-nine programs were included in the study, each meeting strict accreditation standards of the American Psychological Association.

“The article reinforces something that the field has known for years—that the experimental work of our School Psychology faculty in the areas of Response to Intervention, ADHD, Mathematics Instruction, and school readiness for low-income children is helping to transform our schools and influence the national research agenda,” says Gary Sasso, dean of the College of Education.

The program, long a thriving center of activity within the college, has received similar honors in the past. A Chronicle of Higher Education report ranked Lehigh third nationally in research productivity, while the American Psychological Association’s School Psychology Quarterly had Lehigh finishing in second in the United States.  Other scholarly articles have come to the same conclusion using slightly different data parameters.

In this case, the authors of the study ranked doctoral programs on the basis of authorship credit, number of publications and number of citations. The authors also examined the primary outlets in which faculty were published, and the major themes of research activity during the five years ending in 2009.

“Our accomplishments are directly tied to our faculty’s forward and future thinking. We do a good job of anticipating where our field is heading,” says Patricia Manz, director of the school psychology program. She points to the pediatric school psychology subspecialization and the program’s concentration in autism and early childhood development as examples. 

“But one of the most important aspects of our success is our students, who are bright, energetic, and collaborative. Their ideas and enthusiasm fuel faculty research,” she says.”

The University of Minnesota finished just ahead of Lehigh, atop the rankings.

Story by Tom Yencho

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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