Students' research project honored
Posted April 3, 2009
Sherazad Shaikh
Jacquelyn Allen, associate professor of education, joined the faculty in 2004. Prior to coming to ULV, Allen served as a teacher, counselor and school psychologist for more than 30 years in several California school districts. Allen teaches a class to students Vanessa Gonzalez, Jaime Hines and Anna Castellanos in the Master of Science and School of Psychology program.

Susan Acker
Editor in Chief

The annual California Association of School Psychologists Convention included a panel discussion held by two University of La Verne graduate students and two professors.

Desiree Castellon and Janine Bauman, both graduate students in the education department, put a project together that became part of the discussion in Riverside, March 12.

The students presented with Jacquelyn Allen, associate professor of education and Veronica Runnels, an adjunct professor and school psychologist in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

“We thought their project was one of the best of the class,” Runnels said.

The discussion, “RTI and Action Research: Connecting Process to Practice in Developing Consultation and Program Evaluation Skills,” was about a curriculum developed by Allen for the School Psychology Program Planning and Evaluation class.

Allen taught the first class in 2007 and Runnels taught it in spring 2008.

“We think that the topic is very important for school psychologists,” Allen said. “It’s very important for psychologists to be able to do action research in schools to evaluate the results of interventions.”

RTI, response to intervention, is a way to monitor the responses of students who are subjected to interventions in their early education years before they are put into special education classes. Response to intervention is a three-tiered system to assist students early on with academic problems that are identified.

Suggestions are made about how to address problems in an intervention.

Castellon and Bauman received an action research assignment in Runnels’ class, and they worked with the Claremont school district to evaluate a reading intervention program.

“We recommended the program the school had, be expanded,” Castellon said.

“If students receive interventions early, they don’t necessarily need special education.”

Jon Roa, a graduate student in the education department, attended the conference along with other ULV students.

“I thought it was great,” Roa said. “It teaches people how to dissect a program in a school and say how it’s valid.”

“We try to teach students what they need to learn to be out in the field,” Runnels said.

Bauman said the conference was a great opportunity to show their work.

Susan Acker can be reached at

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