What Works in Autism Treatment

Dr. Kathleen S. O’Hara (’15), a graduate from UNLV’s College of Education is leading the way in research-based interventions in autism. Locally, Kathleen works to provide support and service to families as a Case Manager within the Early Childhood Department in the Clark County School District (CCSD). Within these capacities, Kathleen strives to commit to excellence in service in education.

O’Hara’s dissertation, “A comparison of PIPRT to VMO to increase social play skills in children with autism” was recently selected for review by the What Works Clearinghouse of The Institute of Education Sciences due to its exemplary research demonstration of an effective intervention for students with autism.

Dr. O’Hara cites that this latest development indicates that her work has meaning and motivates her to continue work in this area.

O’Hara completed a master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in autism in 2006, as well as a doctorate in Early Childhood Special Education in 2015.

For additional informational about What Works Clearinghouse of The Institute of Education Sciences, visit http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Association for the Study of Higher Education

Proposals are due to the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) by May 5 at 5 p.m. For more information and to submit your proposal, visit the ASHE website.

The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) convenes annually as a community of scholars dedicated to the study of higher education. ASHE encourages proposals that advance knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues pertaining to higher education as a field of study.  We welcome proposals from faculty, scholars, administrators, and students who work in higher education, public policy, or a related field; those who work within and across such disciplines as education, public policy, economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology; and those in state and federal agencies, philanthropic organizations, higher education associations, and other entities that use research to inform policy and practice.


By Shaun R. Harper, ASHE President 

They are not merely variables, statistics, and participant quotes – they are people. Scholars commonly write about institutions without acknowledging that people comprise postsecondary learning and workplace settings. While higher education policy analysts usually highlight the effects of policies on people, less attention is paid to those who create and enact policy, the power they possess, and the demographic mismatch between them and the people their legislative activities affect. Also not sufficiently considered in the literature are roles people who work in postsecondary education play in the annual production of underprepared college graduates who become power abusers in diverse societies. Myriad explanations are offered for persistent and pervasive inequities between people on college and university campuses; rarely are troubling trends and disparate outcomes attributed to power asymmetries.

In higher education research, power determines whose epistemologies are valued, which methods are legitimized and rewarded, and what counts as evidence. Researchers exercise power by deciding which questions are worthy of study and the best ways to pursue them. Methods often fall short of fully including participants’ expertise on their experiential realities. Many scholars become recognized as experts on particular populations without spending much time in homes, schools, and communities of people about whom they famously write and offer culturally decontextualized claims, practical recommendations, and policy prescriptions. Some theorize about oppression, for example, without engaging meaningfully with oppressed peoples. Consequently, the presumed oppression expert amasses considerably more power than does the person whose everyday circumstances manufacture an overlooked, seemingly less valuable form of expertise.

Through general and presidential sessions, keynote addresses, and a range of other exciting activities, the 2017 ASHE Annual Meeting will principally focus on restoring power to the people on whom our research, scholarly reputations, and career rewards are based. ASHE members are invited to consider the following in paper and symposium proposals:

  • Power asymmetries and their effects on people, policies, and postsecondary places.
  • Historical origins of powerlessness in higher education and the longstanding relationship between power and exclusion.
  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to complicating understandings of power in higher education research.
  • Interdisciplinary analyses of power – exploring how power inequities in P-12 schools, communities, governments, economies, criminal justice systems, and other social sectors within and beyond academe affect college opportunity, student success, campus cultures and organizational norms, and the stratification of the postsecondary workforce.
  • How powerful institutions and people in them repeatedly accumulate, protect, and reproduce power.
  • Ways in which people who have been historically and contemporarily denied access to power epicenters, as well as those abused by powerful institutional actors, resist marginalization and reframe success in higher education.
  • The operation, contestation, and distribution of power at colleges and universities in nations beyond the U.S.
  • Movements, policies, and practices that demonstrably disrupt power asymmetries among and between people from different backgrounds on campuses.

Topics beyond these that are focused on people and/or power in postsecondary contexts are welcome, so too are important, theoretically and conceptually complex, and methodologically rigorous proposals on a wide array of other subjects that will substantively advance the study of higher education.

Beyond sessions and speeches, a commitment to this theme will be evidenced throughout the 2017 ASHE Annual Meeting. Specifically, we will share what we have learned through our research on college access and success with high school teachers and counselors, families, city government leaders, and students attending Houston public schools and local postsecondary institutions. We will meet people in their communities and schools. Additionally, numerous people representing populations on which our research is based will meaningfully participate with us in several aspects of the conference.



Policies in Nevada Education Journal: 2017 Volume Available Now!

The College of Education is committed to engaging in research and evaluation efforts that align with contemporary legislative issues. Outputs of these efforts are periodically presented to Nevada legislators to help inform work concerning education-related issues.

College of Education faculty produced ten policy papers on key legislative issues during the 2017 Nevada Legislative Session. These papers are presented to legislators and stakeholders in advance of the session, and provided non-partisan research and key conclusions.

The full journal is available here, or summaries of each of the topics are available here.

March 18: Gayle A. Zeiter Children’s & Young Adult Literature Conference

Come and engage in the joy of children’s and young adult literature in a day filled with amazing, award winning authors at the Gayle A. Zeiter Children’s & Young Adult Literature Conference. We are excited to welcome children’s/YA authors Ellen Hopkins, author of NY Times Best Selling titles including the Crank series; C. Alexander London, author of titles including The Wild Ones series and Proxy; and Judy Schachner, #1 NY Times bestselling author and illustrator of more than 24 titles including Skippyjon Jones and Dewey Bob. Register today!