A Tireless Champion for Students and Teachers

In the corner of Rossana Boyd's office in Matthews Hall sits a black tube that contains a banner trumpeting her win as the UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer at last year's Faculty Excellence Awards.

Ray and Cydney Braswell Education Scholarship

Purpose: Established in honor of Ray and Cydney Braswell to provide scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students seeking certification in elementary education or seeking principal or superintendent certification.


  1. Have graduated from a Denton Independent School District High School;
  2. Meet the minimum entrance and continuing academic performance standards of the College of Education (or its successor) in effect at the time of any award;
  3. Enroll as an undergraduate or graduate student in the University of North Texas College of Education, in one of the following programs for certification that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education or Superintendent Certification Programs:
    1. Early Childhood through Grade 6
    2. Grades 4 through 8
    3. Principal Certification
    4. Superintendent Certification
  4. Maintain enrollment ad a full-time undergraduate or graduate student unless the scholarship award period is during the first or second semester of Professional Development School (PDS);
  5. Have an undergaduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and and graduate GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.


Dorothy Mason McClure Endowed Scholarship

Purpose: Established to provide scholarship support to Education students in honor of Dorothy Mason McClure, a 1939 graduate.


  1. Meet the minimum entrance and continuing academic performance standards of the College of Education (or its successor) in effect at the time of any award;
  2. Enroll as a full-time student in the College of Education (or its successor) at the University;
  3. Maintain full-time enrollment as established by the University, unless the student is nearing completion of his or her degree program and does not need full-time enrollment;
  4. Have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale; and
  5. Preference will be given to applicants who are graduates of Lamar County Public Schools; in the event no applicant meets this criteria, second preference will be given to applciants who attended Paris Junior College.


UNT College of Education students learn by teaching

For a while on Thursday morning, the gym at the University of North Texas Physical Education Building was like any other basketball court with the sounds of squeaking sneakers and the bouncing balls filling the air. 

There was even the occasional swish of the net.

But the noise level took a dramatic turn when kids from the Denton Parks and Recreation summer camp program arrived for the second day of class with Karen Weiller-Abels’ Pedagogical Skills, Strategies, and Management in Physical Education and Movement for Children.

“What our students learn in this class is the importance of physical education for children,” Weiller-Abels said. “They write lesson plans and get to put it into practice.”

Weiller-Abels is an associate professor in the Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation Department and is the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Curriculum. Her class consists primarily of early childhood education through 6th-grade (EC-6) majors. Many of the EC-6 majors plan to teach in an elementary classroom. Some have a focus in Bilingual Education, ESL, or Special Education. Students who are seeking an all-level (EC –12) teaching certification in physical education also take the class. Through a partnership with the city’s parks and recreation summer camps, about 75 kids were brought to UNT two times for the students to teach them various physical activities and skills. At one station, kids learned the basic principles of holding and using a hockey stick, while at another, they rolled large felt dice to determine which exercises they would try next. There were several other stations spread out across two gyms where the UNT students worked with the kids combining physical activities with other content.

Natalie Belokin, a senior interdisciplinary student, said she is interested in “brain breaks” such as getting students up and having them toss a softball around while naming the state capitals or other facts.

“This has really stressed the importance of getting kids up and moving,” Belokin said.

Amanda Cantu, a senior majoring in kinesiology, also said the class shows the importance of physical education for young people.

“I want to do strength conditioning with little kids, and this is teaching me how to set that up,” Cantu said.

Another kinesiology major, senior Austin James, said he hopes to coach middle school children after college.

“This is what my degree will be in, so it is important to have this kind of hands-on experience,” he said.

Weiller-Abels said the purpose of the program is to give students a chance to put into practice what they’ve learned about working with kids. 

“Some of the students have had experience working with children before, but not many in a setting like this,” she said.

The Pedagogical Skills, Strategies, and Management in Physical Education and Movement for Children course looks at the effective use of communication and pedagogical skills and strategies to enhance student engagement and learning by highlighting movement education theory and application. It is part of the UNT College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, which has 1,600 majors studying to be professionals in a wide range of fields including sport, health and fitness, physical education, corporate, community and public health, community and private recreation programs and acceptance into graduate education for allied health careers.

Free registration available to UNT’s 10th annual autism conference

Texas Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are eligible to apply for free registration to attend the University of North Texas’ Kristin Farmer Autism Center’s 10th annual Adventures in Autism Intervention and Research Conference July 28.

A grant from the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities will provide free registration to more than 100 families. The registrations will be on a first come, first served basis.

To apply for free registration, visit https://autism.unt.edu/conference and click the TCDD Registration link.

The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at UNT’s Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. Lunch will be provided.

Registration for professionals and the general public is $75 per person. Military personnel, senior citizens, students and UNT alumni are $65 per person.

BDBA and SLP CEU credits are available for an additional $25 fee.

Conference attendees will hear about the latest in autism research, intervention and therapies from knowledgeable experts. They also will have an opportunity to network with hundreds of parents and professionals from the autism community.

For more information and to register, visit https://autism.unt.edu/conference. There will be no on-site registration.

This year’s keynote speakers are Fred R. Volkmar and Mark F. O’Reilly.

Volkmar is is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at Yale University, Child Study Center and recently served for eight years as Director of the Center. A graduate of the University of Illinois and Stanford, Volkmar completed residency training in adult psychiatry and then a Fellowship in Child Psychiatry at the Yale University’s School of Medicine and has been there ever since. He has dedicated his career to understanding and treating children with developmental disorders and is a leader in the field of autism research. He has served as a teacher and mentor to many trainees some of whom are now leaders in the field. 

Volkmar’s grants and publications run just short of 100 pages in his CV. He is editor of the Journal of Autism, a gifted clinician and teacher and his contributions have greatly improved the lives of children suffering from developmental disorders and their families.

O’Reilly is the Audrey Rogers Myers Centennial Professor in Education, Professor of Special Education, and Chair of the Department of Special Education. He is a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). He coordinates (with Terry Falcomata) the graduate training programs in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Graduate coursework in autism is approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. 

His research focuses on the functional assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior and interventions to promote generalization and maintenance of skills with children with autism and developmental disabilities. He has a strong interest in working with culturally diverse populations (particularly protecting and encouraging indigenous cultures and languages) and examining how behavioral interventions (and interventionists for that matter) must adapt to be respectful and supportive of diversity. A native of Ireland, he lectured in the Department of Psychology at University College Dublin for 10 years prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin in 2002.

Keynote Presentations:

  • "Autism in 2018 – What we do and don’t know”
  • "Autism as a Social Learning Disorder"
  • "Teaching communication skills to persons with ASD using augmentative and alternative communication"
  • "Behavior Analysts Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families: A Conversation"

Breakout Sessions:

  • The traits of highly effective service providers in autism:  A Research Update of “Behavioral Artists” and Their Potential Impact on ABA Outcomes. 
  • Meditation as an Intervention for Students with Autism: Relaxing Body and Mind for Downstream Benefits to Behavior and Social Skills.
  • There's an App for That! Using Technology to Support Executive Functioning & Coping Skills
  • Build it and they will Come: Teaching Adults with ASD to Design Video Games
  • Coping Strategies for Individuals with Autism to Deal with Bullying
  • Autism: A Personal Perspective
  • Virtual Environments for Ecologically Valid Assessments and Interventions in Persons with Neurodevelopmental Disorders Impacting Front Striatal Functioning
  • Ten Common Mistakes Parents Make During IEP Meetings
  • A Comparative Evaluation of Functional Analytic Methods
  • Assessing Gaps In Success for Adults with Autism: Novel Solutions Integrating Research, Intervention Training, and Community Supports
  • Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum in Higher Education
  • Strategies for Improving for Ethical, Socially Valid and Competency-Based Supervisee Behavioral Skills and Performance
  • Emergent Instruction Following via Joint Control
  • Using Naturalistic Intervention Strategies to Teach Children with to communicate using a Speech-Generating

About the UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center

The UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center, housed in UNT's College of Education, provides families a resource for comprehensive autism spectrum disorders treatment, research and support and allows UNT to bring together its long history of interdisciplinary autism services and research under one roof. The center allows families in the North Texas region and beyond to have access to high-quality services designed and implemented by top researchers, professors and professionals in the fields of special education, applied behavior analysis, early childhood intervention, speech and language pathology and other fields in autism and disabilities intervention.

Garry and Monica Landreth Scholarship

Purpose: To provide scholarships for students in the Center for Play Therapy.


  1. Meet the minimum entrance and continuing academic performance standards of the College of Education in effect at the time of any award;
  2. Maintain full time enrollment at the University, unless they have fewer than twice the number of semester hours required to be full time remaining in their degree program;
  3. Enroll as a full-time doctoral student specializing in Play Therapy at the University
  4. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale


UNT students and alumna receive grant to study how to support undocumented students

University of North Texas Higher Education Program doctoral candidates Nick Tapia-Fuselier, Kelsey Kunkle and alumna Catherine Olivarez recently received a research grant for their proposed study involving undocumented students— Investigating Student Affairs Professionals’ Knowledge, Awareness and Skills in Supporting Undocumented/DACAmented Students– from Region III of NASPA-Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education.

“Educational research helps improve educational policies and practices. There are many barriers to enrollment, retention and completion within higher education,” said Uyen Tran-Parsons, a senior lecturer in the higher education program. “There is a lot of misinformation floating through the world about what it means to be an undocumented student. It’s educational research that helps us expand our knowledge and address the gaps that are preventing students from getting their college degrees.”

According to Tapia-Fuselier, Texas currently serves approximately 121,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients, which is the second-largest DACA population behind California

“In 2001, Texas was the first state to pass legislation granting undocumented students access to in-state resident tuition as well as the opportunity to receive state financial aid,” said Tapia-Fuselier, “Although these policies are an important step in supporting undocumented students, undocumented students continue to face discrimination on campus and have reported facing staff and faculty who are uninformed, ill-equipped and insensitive to undocumented students’ needs.”

The UNT College of Education is committed to overcoming obstacles in education to serve a global community and make education equally accessible through research and inclusive curriculum, including bilingual and ESL certifications.

“The UNT College of Education graduates between 40 and 50 bilingual teachers and approximately 200 ESL certified teachers each year,” said Rossana Boyd, director of the bilingual/ESL teacher education program. “Both groups seek these certifications to serve English learners whose dominant language is other than English.”

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

UNT ranks among best value Educational Psychology program in the nation

The University of North Texas Educational Psychology program has been ranked among the best value in the country.

College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, ranked UNT’s program as the No 1 Most Affordable and No. 12 Best Master’s in Educational Psychology.

University of North Texas College of Education also was recently ranked the 12th Best Master's in Secondary Education and 3rd Most Affordable Online Master’s in Secondary Education.

Originally founded as a teacher’s college in 1890, the University of North Texas is one of the nation’s largest universities. UNT offers 103 bachelor’s, 86 master’s and 38 doctoral degree programs.

According to College Choice, the ranking is based on institutional reputation, graduation rates, selectivity, and faculty resources. The data from their ranking comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, U.S. News & World Report, Payscale, and individual college websites.

In its description of UNT, College Choice noted that the program is especially helpful for currently practicing teachers because of its focus on summer classes. 

New Testing Company Effective September 1, 2018

Exam Retake Changes Effective September 1, 2018