Oswego students present, train couselors at national conference

Several SUNY Oswego graduate students recently traveled to a national conference to train school psychologists in some of the latest models in assessing students with learning disabilities.

“I think we’re the program responding to changes in the field before it happens,” said James McDougal of the college’s counseling and psychological services faculty.

Master’s students Karrie Clark, Amanda Miller, Tricia Hamlin, Sara Signor and Marilyn Korth, as well as McDougal, presented a two-part session titled “Understanding/Diagnosing Reading Disabilities within a Response-to-Intervention Model” at the National Association of School Psychologists conference in Atlanta in early April. Some 3,500 professionals attended this major conference, and both sessions led by Oswego students were packed, McDougal said.

The response-to-intervention model has come into increasing demand and emphasis under the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, McDougal said. SUNY Oswego students have led mini-skills sessions at both national and state workshops to review changes in regulations, discuss the conceptual framework behind the RTI model and train professionals on intervention options.

“By the end of my second year in the program, as students we actually had an advantage as far as understanding some of the more current or modern methods in comparison to some of the practitioners who have been practicing in the field for years,” Clark explained.

She said the students gained in confidence, experience and knowledge by attending and speaking at the conferences. It was also rewarding “to feel like your work will help others make a connection with a child or create an academic intervention for a child that may alter their academic career,” she said.

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(Posted: May 04, 2005)