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Creating New Knowledge - Research

COEHD Recent Research News

EDP students present research at annual poster symposium
ILT professor elected as AERA chair
ELPS doctoral student accepted into summer scholar program




With over $30 million in funding for Tier One research already established, we continue to develop creative, flexible and innovative approaches to address the educational needs of the future.  Our ground breaking research offers students and faculty and opportunity to explore new horizons and ideas while providing support to our community and our society.  Faculty members with the College of Education and Human Development are constantly conducting culturally and socially relevant research.


Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies

Special Education-Accelerated Teacher Education Program: SE-ATEP; (Dr. Belinda Flores, Dr. Lorena Claeys)(In collaboration with the Academy for Teacher Excellence) 

UTSA has entered into a consortium with six San Antonio area school districts: East Central ISO, Harlandale ISO, San Antonio ISD, South San Antonio ISD, Southside ISD, and Southwest ISO to submit its proposed project entitled Special Education. Accelerated Teacher Education Program or SE-ATEP. The "high needs" school districts/LEAs are all facing a critical shortage in recruiting "highly qualified" and Texas certified teachers in the area of special education. The school districts recognize that entering into an agreement with The University of Texas at San Antonio will allow them to select from a pool of recent college graduates, second career seekers, retired or displaced military workers, and midcareer professionals and/or paraprofessionals that have participated in the Special Education Accelerated Teacher Education Program. 

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Becoming Critical in Diverse Social Spaces: Oppression, Resistance, and Emergence of Social Justice Scholars; (Dr. Felecia Briscoe, Muhammad Khalifa)

Our research is a qualitative meta-anlaysis of the different paths taken by people of various races/ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, national origins, abilities, and genders in their development as critical scholars. The 11 critical autoethnographic case studies are written by scholars who analyze her or his own life using and developing both critical theory and critical autoethnographic methods of analysis. Common and divergent themes and the relationship of those themes are reported for the 11 case studies.

The International Successful School Principalship Project; (Dr. Encarnacion Garza, Rebecca Garza, Dr. Betty Merchant)

The ISSPP is a multi-perspective research project designed to identify the qualities, characteristics, competences, and other mediating influences of educational leaders who have been successful in primary and secondary schools in different socio-economic circumstances in eight participating countries; Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong), England, Norway, Sweden, USA. The ISSPP has sought to determine whether there are a set of generic core qualities, characteristics and competences that can be identified within and across national, regional and local policy and cultural contexts. Dates: 2001 - present

International School Leadership Development Network; (Dr. Bruce Barnett)

The ISLDN is jointly sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration and the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society. Team members from around the world are conducting studies aimed at better understanding social justice leadership in schools and how leaders turn around high-need, low performing schools. Attention also is being directed to developing programs to prepare and support social justice and turnaround school leaders. Dates: 2011 - present

Adult guidance and a college-going culture: a collective case study of San Antonio area high schools; (Dr. Maricela Oliva)

This research intended to ascertain what high schools are doing to provide information and support to underrepresented Latino students about college access and financial aid. Findings from the collective case study are anticipated to inform a statewide survey on these issues.

Predicting Successful Remediation Among Hispanic Students; (Dr. Gloria Crisp)

This study is identifying the factors that predict successful math remediation among Hispanic students. Dates: 2013-2013

Department of Educational Psychology


Engagement and attention through the study of problem solving, which is organized and facilitated by the LIBRE Model and instrument; (Norma Guerra, Ph.D. Nicholas Cheatham, Graduate Student) 

This approach to problem solving is the result of her previous and ongoing work. Dates: 2014 Annual National Association of School Psychologists Conference

Collaborative research project addressing student retention, goal orientation, and coping; (Norma Guerra, Ph.D, Jeremy Sullivan, Ph.D., Nicholas Cheatham, Graduate student; Sofia Garza Graduate student)

Paper has been submitted and is under review. Dates: August 2013

Latino bilingual education teacher candidates "problem solving approaches in examining efficacy and engagement" (Norma Guerra, Ph.D., Lorena Claeys, Ph.D.) 

Paper is in progress from research data collected through the Academy for Teacher Excellence. Dates: December 2013

Teacher professional development and the role and potential of problem solving to identify, monitor and influence engagement and academic success with middle school students; (Norma Guerra, Ph.D., Lorena Clays, Ph.D., Belinda Flores, Ph.D.) 

IES grant proposal under the Effective Teachers and Effective Teaching topics. Dates:  September 2013


The instructional value of 21st century storytelling; (McGee, P.)

An analysis of the pedagogical foundations, designs, and implementations of digital storytelling in adult learning context. Book to be published by Routledge Publications. Dates:  2012-2014.

Student-teacher Interaction in Online Learning Environments; (McGee, P., & Voeller, J.)

Fostering interaction and social presence through eCollaboration.  A synthesis of eCollaboration models and strategies utilized in higher education. Book chapter to be published in Student-teacher Interaction in Online Learning Environments. Hersey, PA:IGI Global. Dates: 2013-accepted in revision

Models for blended course design; (McGee, P.)

A qualitative meta-analysis examining epistemological foundations of over 20 models referred to in the blended/hybrid course design literature. Dates: 2013-2014

Assessment and Us: How Should Trends Impact Assessment Practices; (McGee, P.) 

A review of current literature regarding assessment in higher education and those trend impacting decision-making, course and program design, and instructional practices. Dates:  2013-2014


The validity of scores on the GRE tests; (Dr. Jeremy Sullivan)

This research involves researching the validity of scores on the GRE tests in predicting the success of students in our graduate program in School Psychology. This line of research will continue to look at how well GRE scores predict a broad collection of dependent variables (e.g., practicum supervisor ratings, internship supervisor ratings, scores on the National School Psychology Exam), as previous research suggests that predictive validity increases when we include factors beyond GPA as dependent variables. Dates:  Fall 2012- present

UTSA undergraduate student retention; (Dr. Felicia Castro-Villarreal)

This research features the examination of a structural model for predicting UTSA undergraduate student retention. Dates: 2013 - ongoing

A model for infusing the scientist practitioner model in masters level school psychology training; (Dr. Felicia Castro-Villarreal, Dr. Billie Jo Rodriguez, Dr. Norma Guerra, Dr. Jeremy Sullivan)

Core faculty at UTSA have worked to develop and evaluate a scientist-practitioner model for school psychology training with Master's level students. Dates: 2011-ongoing


The school psychologist's role in positive behavior interventions and supports; (Dr. Billie Jo Rodriguez)

This research assesses the role school psychologists report they plan in implementation of PBIS in their schools/districts.  The study also attempts to understand barriers and facilitators to school psychologists' participation in PBIS. Dates: 2013-2015

Evaluating the effectiveness of a practical model for teaching school personnel to conduct behavior assessments and link this information to behavior support plans; (Dr. Billie Jo Rodriguez)

This research evaluates the effectiveness of the Practical FBA training procedures by providing pre and post tests as part of professional development.  Future studies will involve working with practitioners to determine of knowledge gained in professional development workshops generalizes to school-based casework.  (Dates:  2011-ongoing)


Projects Pertaining to the Identification and Prevention of Errors Present in High-Stakes Decisions Made by School Psychologists; (Dr. Kara Styck)

The common theme for these projects lies in the identification and prevention of errors. Error is broadly defined here to include error that arises from the measurement of psychological constructs, practitioner error, and error in classification schemes. The current research in this area includes investigating the diagnostic utility of new tools used to determine if scores from culturally and linguistically diverse students can be trusted as valid indicators of their ability (2011-present) and estimating the source and prevalence of examiner errors on standardized intelligence tests. Dates: 2012-present


Usable Information in Intervention Articles Published in Six School Psychology Journals:  Implications for Applied Psychology; (Dr. Victor Villarreal)

This study is a content analysis of six school psychology journals spanning the years 2005-2012, with particular focus on determining the usable information published in intervention research articles with children age 0 - grade 12.  The findings will be discussed in terms of their relevance for addressing the research-to-practice gap as well as their implications for school psychologists working in applied settings; the quality and detail of usable information in intervention journal articles ostensibly influences dissemination, generalizability, and usability of results in applied school settings. Dates: 2013-present To be presented at National Conference February 2014)

Ten and 40 years after mentoring: Longitudinal analyses of relationship and developmental processes as moderators of outcomes in two experimental studies; (Dr. Michael Karcher, PI) 

This longitudinal study, funded by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, will identify and collect follow-up data from participants in two large scale studies of youth mentoring (1) the Study of Mentoring In the Learning Environment (Karcher, PI, 2003-2007) at UTSA and (2) the Companionship Therapy study (Goodman, PI, 1963-1969) at UC Berkeley. This is Dr. Karcher's second project funded by an OJJDP Mentoring Research Best Practices award, and the proposal was written in collaboration with two Masters students, Joe Avera and Yulia Zholu, who will serve on the project as research assistants.  Dates: 2014-2016

An evaluation of advocacy-based mentoring as a treatment intervention for chronic delinquency; (Dr. Michael Karcher, PI).

This Best Practices Award is funded by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The project uses theory to study what types of relational, directive, and advocacy-related mentoring interactions help adjudicated youth re-integrate into their communities. The award supports one full-time doctoral student, David Johnson. Dates: 2011-2014

The InspireU Program formative evaluation; (Dr. Michael Karcher)

Funded by the Office of the Mayor of San Antonio, this project funded four masters students (part of The Group for the Study of Interpersonal Development) to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of the innovative school-workplace youth mentoring program supported through the Mayor's Office. The Mayor's Office hired these students to conduct observational, focus group, and survey research to examine which practices in the program best predict positive outcomes. Having completed this formative evaluation an effectiveness trial is being planned in collaboration with CIS, BBBS, the Mayor's office and local businesses.





Department of Health and Kinesiology

Pathway to Health: A Lifestyle Intervention to Prevent Diabetes (Dr. Zenong Yin and Dr. Meizi He)

PATH is developed following the successful U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program and the China Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study, targeting weight loss, dietary and physical activity practices in 280 Chinese women who are at risk for T2DM. The study will be conducted in a Community Health Center in Yuci, Shanxi Province, China.

Building a Healthy Temple- a faith-based obesity and diabetes prevention program; (Dr. Zenong Yin, Dr. Meizi He and Dr. Erica Sosa)

The objective of the "Building a Healthy Temple" program is to disseminate a faith-based obesity and diabetes prevention intervention to 18 church congregations to promote healthy eating, active living and healthy body-weight. "Building a Healthy Temple" takes an integrated health promotion approach to prevent obesity and diabetes. The integration of spiritual and physical health promotion is more likely to result in lasting lifestyle changes. Faith communities can play a compelling role in encouraging and supporting congregation members in making the healthy lifestyle choices that will keep them well and whole. "Building a Healthy Temple" is a partnership among the University of Texas at San Antonio, the San Antonio Food Bank, the Texas Diabetes Institute, and Central Church of God. Using a train the trainer model, program staff will provide training, on-site support and program evaluation to participating congregations. Intervention activities will be delivered by trained church health leaders from the participating churches. 

Follow Up Evaluation of Healthy Hubs; (Dr. Erica Sosa)

Healthy Hubs have been implemented in San Antonio to promote healthy eating and physical activity among community members. These Hubs include modifications to parks and physical activity resources as well as healthier options in restaurants and corner stores. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of these Healthy Hubs by assessing community members' physical activity; restaurant manager and corner store owners' feedback; and built environment modifications.

 Acute effects of vaporized nicotine on metabolic, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular responses in humans; (Dr. William Cooke and Dr. Donovan Fogt)

In this proposal, overall hypothesis will be tested that vaporized nicotine will stimulate the human nervous system in ways that could seriously impact daily living. Such stimulation could 1) increase resting metabolism and interfere with normal responses to physical activity; 2) decrease the ability of the cardiovascular system to regulate arterial pressure; and 3) decrease the brain's ability to regulate blood flow.

Physiological Desensitization and Violent Video Games: Is there an Ecological Buffer?; (Dr. Alberto Cordova and Dr. Gabriel Acevedo)

Research has shown that violent video game exposure increases aggressive thoughts and behaviors, physiological arousal, and angry feelings. However, there seems to be a lack of research that examines the relationship between physiological responses and exposure to violent video games and how socioeconomic and demographic factors may moderate these physiological responses. Subjects will spend an equivalent amount of time exposed to video games. The control group will be exposed to non-violent games while the experimental group will play video games that are available at retail outlets but rated for adult (mature), violent content. Skin-conductance data along with heart rate and blood pressure will record the physiological responses before, during, and after gaming sessions. The implications for this research are in its use in educational and trauma settings.

Department of Interdisciplinary Learning & Teaching

Early Career Researchers to Conduct Secondary Data Analyses of the MET LDB; (Dr. Dennis Davis)

The goal of the proposed study is to contribute to the field's understanding of the nature of effective reading comprehension instruction using a combination of the teacher quality indicators already present in the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) database and fine-grained coding of instructional practice from a newly developed instrument specific to reading comprehension instruction. The proposed study will provide one of the largest and most geographically diverse characterizations of reading comprehension instruction in upper elementary and middle grades classrooms ever completed; and it would be one of only a handful of studies that have carefully linked teachers' naturally occurring instructional practices for reading comprehension to high-quality measures of student learning. 


Innovative Communities of Learning Advancing Student Success (iCLASS): An Early College Approach for Increasing Latino Participation in Mathematics and Science; (Dr. Belinda Flores, Dr. Rachel Ruiz, Dr. Kimberly Bilica, Dr. Maria Kaylor, Dr. Wayne Wright, Dr. Norma Guerra, Dr. Betty Travis, and Dr. Maricela Oliva)

The Academy for Teacher Excellence and the Office of P-20 Initiatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) accept the challenge to increase the number of Latinos in various mathematics and science related degree programs by collaboratively working with a high need high school in the Edgewood Independent School District (EISD) in San Antonio, Texas, which has a 98% Latino student population, over 91% low income and 20% Limited English Proficient students. The major goal of the iCLASS project is to establish a strong model of collaboration between UTSA and EISD's Memorial High School and its Toltech T-STEM Academy where mathematics and science courses will be aligned and instruction will be enhanced to ensure that Latino students are college ready and can succeed at an institution of higher education. iCLASS objectives aim to provide: (1) 50 Latino or low-income students with academic and psychosocial support to make the transition to college a smooth and successful experience by participating in a dual enrollment program where 11th and 12th graders will obtain dual credit on selected mathematics and science courses. (2) create and support an interdisciplinary Community of faculty Practice (iCofP) with ESL, mathematics, science, and special education high school teachers, counselors, administrators and UTSA ESL, mathematics, science, special education, and higher education faculty and administrators, Latino high school students that are within the 40th and 90th percentile of their class, and former Latino university students who graduated from UTSA to design and monitor a "path to success" for participating Latino students and build a bridge between a high need high school and UTSA; (3) provide 20 high school mathematics and science teachers and 15 university mathematics and science faculty members with the necessary tools to adapt and create lessons that meet the college ready competencies identified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; (4) create and nurture a network of support that includes family/guardians, extended family, and friends who are encouraging to participating students.

Noyce Scholarship Support for Community College Transfer Students; (Dr. Gloria Crisp, Dr. Aaron Cassill, Dr. Lorena Claeys, and Dr. Claudia Verdin)

This research is intended to understand how mentoring support may serve to influence STEM majors' interest and commitment to becoming a STEM educator. (Dates: 2013-2018)





COEHD Research

Upcoming Events

IDS Program Inquiry Expo

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


BLDG: Institute of Texan Cultures (801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., San Antonio, Texas 78205)

Fall 2018 New Teacher Reception and Induction Ceremony

Thursday, December 13, 2018

TIME: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

LOC: Main Campus

BLDG: H-E-B Student Union Ballroom

American Educational Research Assoc. Conf. 2019


LOC: Other

BLDG: Toronto, Canada

All Events