Research & Projects
Learn about the research and projects of faculty in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology.
CCCE is a non-profit community center providing low-cost counseling services to individuals, couples, and families in San Diego. CCCE is also a counselor training facility operated by SDSU offering hands-on education for pre-licensed graduate students in the fields of Marriage and Family Therapy and Community-based Counseling.
Executive Director: Juan Camarena, Ph.D., Lecturer, CBB LPCC Program
Led by Dr. Laura Owen, adjunct professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology, and Dr. Melissa Naranjo, executive director of the College Avenue Compact, CEPA aims to improve equitable student postsecondary opportunity, particularly through the study of counseling and advising systems and processes that elevate the diverse student and parent voices of vulnerable communities. Its goals include ensuring all students have access to a high-quality antiracist school counselor to guide and support them on their postsecondary paths, and ensuring that all school-based systems, policies, and practices promote equitable postsecondary opportunities.
Executive Director: Laura Owen, Ph.D., Lecturer, School Counseling Program
African American Mentoring Program (AAMP)
AAMP's goal is to recruit, retain, and sustain students of African descent in graduate level programs at SDSU.
Native and Indigenous Scholars Program
SHPA supports the preparation of Master's level graduate students in school counseling and Specialist level graduate students in school psychology committed to serving Native American children with high incidence disabilities.
Project BEAMS will improve preservice preparation of school psychologists (SP) and special educators (SE) to serve diverse students with behavioral, emotional, and mental health challenges in California's public schools.
- Project IMPACT (Interventions with MFT's, Parents, And Children Together)
This project, funded by Price Philanthropies, places MFT trainees in four elementary schools in City Heights to provide therapy to children and their families and offer support to teachers and staff. The goal is to improve academic performance by addressing the socio-emotional needs of the children.
Project TLC prepares school psychologists, school counselors, and school social workers to meet the unique and complex needs of students with disabilities in foster care who have experienced trauma.
The ¡PUEDE! project addresses a critical need for support for the growing population of Dual Language and English Learners (DL/EL) in today’s schools. Children with disabilities who have high intensity needs require specialized knowledge, skills and services from multiple highly trained professionals.
Previously Funded Projects
Project CARES is an interdisciplinary collaborative designed to recruit, retain, and prepare students from underrepresented groups in school psychology, school counseling, and school social work programs as highly qualified Culturally Affirming and Responsive Education Specialists (CARES). CARES scholars receive training through interdisciplinary coursework and fieldwork experiences to incorporate current evidence-based practices that improve outcomes for CLD children in foster care with disabilities and their families. These practices are guided by competencies needed to provide academic and behavioral interventions, mental health services, and consultation that will lead to improved outcomes of CLD students in foster care with disabilities. CARES Partners, San Diego County Department of Education, Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services and Voices for Children, will provide access to youth in foster care, foster parents, community collaborators, and provide certified CASA training.
The Cultural-Linguistic Advocates for Spanish-Speaking English-Learners (CLASS-EL) Project was proposed in response to the exponential growth in the numbers of Spanish-speaking students in Southern California. For example, the majority of children now entering kindergarten in San Diego speak Spanish at home. The preparation of Spanish-speaking educators lags far behind. CLASS-EL seeks to: Recruit and prepare Spanish-speaking school psychologists who have the bilingual education knowledge, skills, and abilities (BEKSA) to serve as advocates and consultants for Spanish-Speaking English-Learners (SS-ELs) Improve the Spanish skills and cultural competencies of those pre-service school psychologists and of pre-service bilingual teachers and special educators Our central goal is to improve instruction and services for Spanish-Speaking English-Learners (SS-ELs) while helping educational personnel to meet high professional standards.
Project CI2ELO brings school psychology and speech-language students together for collaborative seminars, institutes, and field experiences at Porter Elementary, a multilingual school in San Diego City Schools. Trainees develop the knowledge and skills to provide Collaborative Interventions to Improve English Learners’ Outcomes. CI2ELO uses a preservice learning community model to engage trainees in researching and intervening in the real-life challenges experienced by English Learners with, or at risk of, disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education ($1,200,000): K. Lambros & V. Gutierrez-Clellen.
The SDSU MFT program was awarded a substantial grant from the San Diego County of Health & Human Services. The grant titled The Linguistically And Ethnically Diverse (LEAD) Project is designed to lead to a dramatic increase in the numbers of linguistically and ethnically diverse interns that gain MFT licensure. The grant pays a one year stipend to selected SDSU MFT Interns enabling them to obtain the hours required for licensure within a timely manner. In addition, the internship will engage trainees and interns in collaborations with mental health county agencies, provide preparation classes for success with licensure examination, the opportunity to complete a Certificate in Public Mental Health Practices, and educational programs on evidence-based models and promising practices to strengthen clinical knowledge and skill level. The project is designed to significantly increase the numbers of SDSU MFT interns entering into the County workforce over the next five years. Gerald Monk, Project Director.
Native American Student Success Collaboration Project (NASSCP) partners project scholars with Valley Center Pauma High School, and with the surrounding rural reservation communities to work with underserved youth for school success. School psychology and school counseling students study the work of indigenous educators in weekly seminars, work with youth and mentors on the project school site each week, participate in mentored professional presentations to state or national conferences, attend summer and winter institutes, and benefit from multiple mentors. They focus on targeting school-wide preventive work, separating difference from disability, and working from strength-based models to create and deliver culturally compatible intervention services. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($800,000): C. Robinson-Zañartu.
The SDSU-MTE Collaborative brings together commitments and resources from San Diego State University (SDSU), Mountain Empire (MTE) Unified School District and surrounding tribal communities on behalf of Native American youth. We work from and assess a culturally consistent Collaborative Model for Related Services Training for Native Student Success, a model designed to prepare pre-service school counselors and psychologists to work with community and school leaders to improve outcomes for Native youth. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($800,000): Robinson-Zañartu, C. & Hatch, T. (Funded 2005–2009). The SDSU-MTE Collaborative for Native American Student Success (with Mt. Empire Unified School District). Department of Education, Office of Education (84.325K) ($800,000/4 yrs). Principal Investigator.
Transdisciplinary Education for Achievement in Multilingual Schools (Project TEAMS) (2006-2010) brings school psychology and speech-language students together for collaborative seminars, institutes, and field experiences in a multilingual elementary school in San Diego City Schools. Trainees develop the knowledge and skills to provide classroom-based services for English-learners with, or at risk of, disabilities via transdisciplinary collaboration with general education teachers. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education ($800,000): V. Cook-Morales & V. Gutierrez-Clellen.
Transdisciplinary Autism Specialty Project (TASP) (2005-2009) provides support for speech-language pathologists and school psychologists developing shared evidence-based expertise in serving diverse children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The TASP experience includes both “expert” seminars (featuring researchers from UCSD and leading practitioners from San Diego City Schools) and collaboration seminars using a responsibility model for learning. The two year field experience is graded in scope and intensity; beginning with site visit observations in schools and agencies serving students with ASD, to shadowing ASD specialists in City Schools, to a year-long collaborative field experience providing direct services to students with ASD. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($800,000): V. Gutierrez-Clellen & V. Cook-Morales.
The Diversity & Disabilities (D&D) Project (2003-2009) supports school psychology students engaged in specialized study and research in the interface of cultural diversity and disabilities (e.g., the underrepresentation of Latino students amongst students with autism; the overrepresentation of African American students, especially male students, identified with emotional-behavioral disorders). Project includes structured mentoring, extra courses in special education and on-going research & writing in the D&D focus. Specialized mentoring available for trainees with disabilities and who have English as their second language. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($800,000): V. Cook-Morales.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Project: Preparing School Psychologists as English-Language Acquisition (ELA) Consultants (2003-2008) supported students developing a specialization in ELA and services for an identified ethnolinguistic group (Vietnamese, Hmong, Sudanese, and Latino-rural/migrant). ELA content knowledge is built through mentored study, conference participation, and additional coursework in bilingual education and linguistics. Cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and culture-entry began with library research then augmented with a variety of experiential learning activities (e.g., cultural plunges, service learning) and culminated in an intensive ethnographic experience. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition ($1,500,000): V. Cook-Morales, T. O'Shaughnessy, & T. Green.
Native American Scholars & Collaborators Project (NASCP) (2003-2008). School psychology and school counseling trainees collaborated toward the development of culturally consistent models of services for Native American youngsters and communities. Trainees engaged in scholarly research and writing, a weekly seminar, and specialized field experience at All-Tribes School in North County. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($800,000): C. Robinson-Zañartu.
Bilingual High-Incidence Disabilities (BHID) Project: Collaboration of Bilingual School Psychologists and Bilingual Speech-Language Therapists (2002-2006). School psychology and speech-language pathology students worked together toward development of identified shared and unique competencies needed to meet the needs of bilingual (Spanish) youngsters with or at-risk of high-incidence disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, language disabilities, behavior disorders). Collaboration Field Experiences were developed in Chula Vista Elementary School District. Funded by U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($800,000): V. Gutierrez-Clellen & V. Cook-Morales.
The San Diego Bilingual School Psychology Partnership (2000-06) joined the forces of SDSU and San Diego City Schools in a collaborative endeavor to prepare qualified bilingual (Spanish) school psychologists and to improve the quality of bilingual school psychological services in City Schools. This school-based professional development program linked preservice students, interns, first year and experienced schools psychologists in peer coaching and mentoring, a Summer Institute, and involvement in professional bilingual education associations. Participants designed Individualized Language-Culture Learning Plans that typically included Spanish immersion programs in Mexico or Latin America. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs ($1,182,290): V. Cook-Morales.
Native American Collaboration Project (NACP) (2000-2004) emphasized the development of competencies from a traditional knowledge base, and related that knowledge directly to the practices and knowledge of Western traditions. Larry Emerson, Diné mentor with expertise and experience taught this integral seminar. The seminar contributed to the development of culturally appropriate scholarship. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($738,891): C. Robinson-Zañartu.
Multidisciplinary Native Collaboration Project (MNACP) (2000-2003): The MNACP Seminar, taught by Marilyn Robinson, Cayuga mentor with expertise or experience in both western and traditional perspectives on issues in Indian education, families, and service, utilized a western knowledge base to lead Scholars’ and Collaborators’ study of the issues essential in competency development. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($599,845): C. Robinson-Zañartu.
The Urban Poverty Project (Project UP) (1999-2002) improved preservice preparation of school psychologists to serve children with or at risk of high-incidence disabilities in California's multicultural urban school districts. The project provided financial support packages for our school psychology students while the faculty and governing bodies worked toward revision of the Program to create a greater emphasis on prevention and intervention training for broad-based services in urban schools. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($589,603): V. Cook-Morales.
The Transdisciplinary Collaboration for Preparation of Specialists in Serious Emotional Disturbance (1997-2000) was designed to prepare special education teachers, school psychologists and counselors to provide appropriate services for children/adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED). The project focused specifically on SED in the context of the urban culture of poverty and attended to ethnic and gender disproportionality in identified SED populations in the schools. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($894,000): P. Cegelka & V. Cook-Morales.
The Multicultural/ Cross-Cultural School Psychology Project (1996-2000) supported the preservice preparation of fully qualified school psychologists with the competencies to serve ethnolinguistically diverse children and youth, their families and teachers. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($865,503): V. Cook-Morales.
The Native American Specialty in Related Service Personnel Project (1994-1999) supported the development of specializations in either school psychology or rehabilitation counseling. The project emphasized in-depth understanding of educational/cultural links vital to improving service to Native American children, youth and their families. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($643,645): C. Robinson-Zañartu.
The African-Centered Project in School Psychology (1995-1998) provided African-centered educational experiences for school psychology students to better who serve African-American children and youth. The experiences included an African-centered seminar, supervised field experiences in model schools, summer institutes featuring national leaders, and African American mentors. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($310,161): V. Cook-Morales, C. Robinson-Zañartu, & M. Brown-Cheatham.
The Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Training Project: Bilingual School Psychologists and Speech-Language Pathologists (1993-1998) supported a collaborative approach to the training of bilingual school psychologists and speech-language pathologists. Students developed shared expertise in serving bilingual Hispanic children and youth, their families and teachers. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($671,200): V. Cook-Morales & V. Gutierrez-Clellen.
The Bilingual-Bicultural (Hispanic) School Psychology Projects (1986-1997) supported the development of a specialization in the nondiscriminatory assessment of Hispanic children. The project was guided by an ecosystems philosophy and provided 19 competencies for a systems approach to nondiscriminatory assessment. Eighteen of these competencies are now integrated in the School Psychology Program. The Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (1986-89 at $225,000; 1989-94 at $424,369, 1994-97 at $240,000): V. Cook-Morales.
The Cultural-Linguistic Diversity (CLD) Project in School Psychology (1994-1996) supported the development of competencies necessary for appropriate school psychological services for bilingual and English-learning children from the high needs (top 20) language backgrounds in California. Each project trainee developed an Individualized Language-Culture Learning Plan (ILCLP) addressing (1) language structure and development, (2) bilingual education methodology, (3) culture and cultural diversity, (4) the culture of emphasis, and (5) the language of emphasis - listening, reading, speaking, and writing. A language-culture immersion experience was expected and supported. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs ($431,233): V. Cook-Morales.
The Multicultural School Support Personnel (MSSP) Project (1989-1994) supported the preservice training of multicultural school psychologists and school counselors. The philosophical model reflected a "preventive/systems approach" and incorporated Ingraham's (1989) Inverted Pyramid Model for coordinated school service delivery and Cook's (1987) Least Restrictive Evaluation Model for school psychological services. School counseling and school psychology students developed 12 common competencies to contribute to a multidisciplinary support services approach. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($423,000): V. Cook-Morales & C. Ingraham.
The African American Specialty in School Psychology Project (1991-1994) supported the development of specialized knowledge and skills in providing culturally appropriate assessment and other special education related services for African American children and youth. The project sponsored a specialty seminar, a colloquium series, and an annual Summer Institute in African American School Psychology, featuring national leaders in African American psychology and education. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($336,187): V. Cook-Morales & M. Brown-Cheatham.
The Spanish-English Language Proficiency (SELP) Project (1990-1993). The large majority of our Hispanic students are native Spanish-speakers, many attended Mexican elementary and secondary schools, and all have fluent bilingual conversational skills. The need for the development of professional Spanish proficiency, however, became a recurrent theme in our evaluations. The SELP Project was designed to address these needs and to augment the Bilingual-Bicultural Project. The project provided "Intensive Spanish Language Experiences" in our winter and summer sessions and a colloquium series in Spanish throughout the academic year. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs ($553,437): V. Cook-Morales.
The American Indian Specialty in School Psychology Project (1990-1993) supported the development of specialized knowledge and skills in providing appropriate special education related services for American Indian children and youth. Students developed the knowledge and skills to provide culturally informed consultation at referral, culturally appropriate evaluation for special education, and culturally affirmative interface with parents. Dynamic assessment, mediated learning, and ecosystems perspectives were integral to the specialization. The project sponsored an American Indian colloquium series, coursework focused on the culture-cognition connection, and an annual pow-wow. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($226,657): C. Robinson-Zañartu.
Bilingual-Bicultural (Hispanic) School Psychology Project (1989-1994) supported preservice school psychologists to specialize in nondiscriminatory assessment and special education service delivery for Hispanic Children. Funded by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($424,400): V. Cook-Morales.
Multicultural School Support Personnel Project (1989-1994) supported preservice school psychologists and school counselors who specialized in special education support service delivery in multicultural school settings. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($423,000) V. Cook-Morales & C. Ingraham.
Bilingual-Bicultural (Hispanic) School Psychology Program (1986-1989) supported the study of full-time bilingual (Spanish) graduate students in the School Psychology Program. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs ($240,000): V. Cook-Morales.