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Dept of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education & School Psychology

CLAS has a special mission within the university: a focus on graduate education, the preparation of professionals who will provide leadership in the schools and public and private agencies of Texas. The multi-disciplinary and multicultural nature of our department provides opportunities to model collaboration across disciplines, and to learn from one another as we promote respect for all cultures and individuals.Recent Faculty Publications2013 Faculty Refereed Publications

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CLAS Department Earns Safe Office Designation for Respect for Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities, and Gender Expressions

Safe Office The Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education & School Psychology has earned the university’s Safe Office designation. A Safe Office ensures respect for Texas State students of differing sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. It also provides LGBTQIA students with timely and inclusive resources and assistance. CLAS is proud to have earned this designation, expressing our commitment to diversity and inclusion, through having over 75% of our full-time faculty and staff voluntarily participate in the university’s Allies Training. Our graduate department is committed to respect for all persons, and to equity and justice for historically marginalized populations involving differences across race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, culture, language, gender, gender identity and expression, belief, ability, sexual orientation, and other expressions of difference. CLAS is currently the only academic department at the university listed with this designation. For more information on the Safe Office program, sponsored by the university’s Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion, please visit their website.

Dr. Vega Completes Intensive Spanish Language Study in Costa Rica to Advance the University’s Bilingual School Psychologist Graduate Program

Dr. Vega in session with students

In Summer 2015, Dr. Desireé Vega has been participating in a six week intensive Spanish language program in Costa Rica. Her objective has been to advance her professional Spanish language fluency in the area of School Psychology. Vega’s summer mornings have involved four hours of small group language instruction, and afternoons have consisted of an additional two hours of private instruction centered on topics associated with School Psychology and Education. Vega shares that “as a second language learner, I understand the process of acquiring another language is continual. While I have studied the Spanish language for many years and worked as a bilingual school psychologist, fluency and vocabulary development in a non-native language is constant.”

In addition to her language immersion experience, Vega has had the opportunity to learn more about the Costa Rican culture through various activities including a trip to el Museo Nacional (the fortress that originally housed the military), a visit to the University of Costa Rica (the oldest university in Costa Rica), participation in La Romeria (celebration of La Virgen de los Ángeles), and a tour of La Asamblea Legislativa to learn about the government of Costa Rica.

“I look forward to returning to Texas State this fall,” says Vega, “and to continuing to work closely with the Project SUPERB Scholars pursuing the bilingual school psychology certificate.” She also shares that this international learning experience has allowed her to formally study professional Spanish and expand the language base she had already developed. Her new skills will be integrated into her teaching and advancement of the bilingual school psychology training program at Texas State University.

Vega’s language study is supported as part of the Hispanic serving strategic initiative of the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education & School Psychology, which houses the Specialist Degree in School Psychology.For more information on Project SUPERB, the department’s federally funded $1.05 million grant to develop and implement a Spanish-English bilingual School Psychologist training program at Texas State University, please visit their website.

Visiting Fulbright Scholar Guest Lecture on May 28th

Dr. Manal Yazbak Abu Ahmad is an expert in e-learning collaboration and teaching strategies in multicultural environments and international relations. She co-lectures a joint intergroup collaborative e-learning course on “Dealing with Diversity” for Arab students of Sakhnin College in Israel and Jewish students of David Yellin College in Jerusalem. She also teaches an online course entitled “Exploring Culture through English Literature” for various Arab and Jewish colleges in Israel. She is currently is a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan. Where she has taught an online course on “Global Understanding.”

She has served as the head of the English Department at Sakhnin College for Teacher Education in Israel, and is a member of the TEMPUS DOIT project entitled“Development of an International Model for Curriculum Reform in Multicultural Education and Cultural Diversity Training.”

Dr. Ahmad will deliver a lecture entitled “Arab-Israeli Cross-cultural Collaboration: Against All Odds”

Doctoral Student Appointed to the Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar

Jeffry King

Jeffry King, a Texas State doctoral student in School Improvement, was appointed to The David L. Clark Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration & Policy. The seminar is a highly competitive national appointment and candidates were selected based on the strength of their doctoral research study.

His research critiques Gnostic philosophical influences on the audit culture of accountability mandates and high-stakes testing prevalent in current K-12 educational policy. Focused on the relational aspects of teaching and learning, King's research helps school leaders promote the practice of a dialogic pedagogy within the standards-based learning environment that is grounded in the integration of both technique and relationship. 

The Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar is sponsored by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), the American Educational Research Association (AERA Divisions A & L), and SAGE Publications. It brings nationally emerging educational administration and policy scholars and noted researchers together for research presentations, generative scholarly discussion, and professional growth. Many of the past graduates of this seminar are now faculty members at major research institutions across the globe. 

For more information on The Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar visit: http://www.ucea.org/graduate-student-opportunities/david-clark-seminar/

Texas State University Multi-Interdisciplinary Research Grant for School Safety Awarded to Dr. Sarah Nelson and Colleagues

Dr. Sarah Nelson–Professor in CLAS–is the Principal Investigator for Creating a Secondary School Climate Instrument Focused on Safety and Security, the recipient of one of two awards made through Texas State’s Multi-Interdisciplinary Research Grant (MIRG) program. Predominant safety and security issues on most campuses involve more frequent occurrences of disruptive behavior, bullying, hazing, sexual and physical assault, and other forms of victimization and violence that threaten the physical and emotional well-being of students, faculty, and staff. To address these predominant issues, the research team will develop and pilot a comprehensive safety and security climate instrument for students on secondary (grades 6-12) campuses. Analysis of the resulting data will provide evidence of the validity and reliability of the instrument’s scores and support a long-term, systemic approach to making schools and IHEs safer by seeking external funds to (1) develop safety climate instruments for P-16 campuses, (2) analyze the resulting data at micro and macro levels to inform policy and practice, (3) implement and research the effectiveness of programs and strategies designed to enhance school safety, and (4) serve as recognized experts in discussions about school safety.

Co- Principal Investigators: Dr. Glenna Billingsley, Assistant Professor in C&I; Dr. Jennifer Greene, Assistant Professor in CLAS; Dr. Gloria Martinez-Ramos, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology; Dr. Larry Price, Professor in CLAS and Director of the Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research Design and Analysis (IIRDA); Dr. Gail Ryser, Director of the Testing, Research Support, and Evaluation Center and Research Fellow & Project Manager with IIRDA; Dr. P. Michael Supancic, Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice; Dr. Desireé Vega, Assistant Professor in CLAS. Research Support: Ms. Kathy Martinez-Prather and Mr. Joseph McKenna, Texas School Safety Center.