News and notes from around RPSE during the 2016-17 academic year

Medical imaging Carillon Tower Glass blowing Laptop and lecture A smiling student Sunrise over the Education Building Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace Bascom hall staircase Graduating students in silhouette Crowd of people on Bascom Hill A student tutoring Student with diploma Dance Department performance Night view of Bascom in the winter Memorial Union Terrace in autumn Memorial Union Terrace chairs Dance department performance Bucky Badger in front of a parade float Bascom Hall in the summertime Lincoln statue Students walking in the snow University of Wisconsin - Madison Crest Lincoln statue in the snow Forward Logo Student at graduation Bicycle in the snow Rathskellar Fireplace Sailboat with Capitol Building in the background A sailboat at the Memorial Union Bascom Hill in Autumn Bucky Badger studying with a student. Students among blooming trees at UW-Madison Bucky reading a book University flag on Bascom Hill Video camera view screen Student on a frozen lake Lincoln Statue on Bascom Hill Bascom Hill in winter Students collaborating Memorial Union Terrace chairs in the snow Kohl Center logo Graduates with diplomas A hands-on project Stacked, illuminated figures View from the top of Van Hise


Main Office

Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education
School of Education
Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall, Rm. 431B
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.5860
Fax: 608/262.8108

or by contact form

Programs again ranked among very best in nation

U.S. News and World Report released its annual rankings of the top graduate schools on March 14 and UW– Madison’s School of Education and many of its programs once again were recognized as being among the very best in the nation.

Rating 2018 The UW–Madison School of Education is tied for No. 3 in U.S. News’ 2018 Best Education Graduate Schools ratings. This makes UW-Madison’s School of Education the top-ranked public school of education in the nation for a fourth straight time.

In addition to this overall rank, UW-Madison’s School of Education is also home to several of the nation’s most highly regarded specialty programs, including No. 7 in special education. This marks an improvement of two spots from last year.

Not all graduate programs are ranked by U.S. News and World Report each spring. For example, the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education (RPSE) remains No. 1 in the Rehabilitation Counseling ratings, although U.S. News did not re-rank that specialty program this year.

UW–Madison researchers received top ARCA honors

The American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) in March bestowed its annual Research Awards, and UW–Madison’s Timothy Tansey is a co-author on papers that received both first- and second-place recognition.

Tim Tansey
The ARCA Research Award recognizes and honors high-quality, empirical research in the field of rehabilitation counseling.

Tansey, an assistant professor with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, was the lead author on the top-ranked paper titled, “Resilience and quality of life: An investigation of Kumpfer’s Resilience Model with persons with spinal cord injuries.” This report appeared in the Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, and it “examined the impact of factors identified in Kumpfer’s resilience model on quality of life outcomes (QOL) for adults with spinal cord injury.” Findings revealed that the “overall model accounted for 75 percent of the variance in QOL outcomes. In particular, coexisting pain, participation self-efficacy, core self-evaluation, resiliency characteristics, cognitive strength, general health, and social support independently contributed to the variance in QOL scores.”

The second-place honor went to a paper titled, “Predicting the quality of life in adults with severe mental illness: Extending the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health.” It appeared in the journal Rehabilitation Psychology, and was coauthored by UW–Madison Professor David Rosenthal and Tansey, while the lead author on this paper is Jennifer Sanchez, from the University of Texas at El Paso. Sanchez also is a UW–Madison alumna.

The third-place ARCA Research Award went to the study, “Characteristics of people with disabilities receiving assistive technology services in vocational rehabilitation: A logistic regression analysis.” The paper appeared in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and was co-authored by, among others, UW–Madison’s Kevin Bengtson and Fong Chan. Bengston is a Ph.D. student with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, while Chan is department chair and the Norman L. and Barbara M. Berven Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology. In addition, co-authors Jana Telzlaff and Mikael Snitker both are alums of UW–Madison.

Bal presents rubric for culturally responsive intervention studies

UW–Madison’s Aydin Bal is the lead author of an article published in the highly regarded journal Review of Educational Research that’s titled, “Culturally Responsive Experimental Intervention Studies: The Development of a Rubric for Paradigm Expansion.”

The paper, released in June 2016, presents a rubric for these studies and the underlying theoretical framework. Bal, an assistant professor of special education, explains the rubric operationalizes cultural responsiveness in the context of experimental intervention research.

According to the article’s abstract: “Recent initiatives to increase the rigor of intervention research in special education have largely ignored the implications of culture and its role in experimental research. The extent to which the experimental intervention studies are culturally responsive remains unexplored.”

The abstract continues: “We developed a rubric, modeled after prior rubrics for quality indicators of special education research, identifying criteria for culturally responsive research. Rubric items were created following a systematic review of literature and gathering feedback from experts. The 15-item rubric uses culture as a generative concept that mediates each aspect of experimental intervention research.”

• Bal also is the co-editor of a book released in 2016 titled, “Learning from Difference: Comparative Accounts of Multicultural Education.”

This publication analyzes “the experiences of multicultural education in nine very different international settings, uncovering insights from a vast variety of educational contexts.”

The nine case studies “reflect radically different assumptions about what counts as ‘difference’ and what should be the appropriate ways for education systems to respond to differences.”

The book is co-edited with Joseph Lo Bianco of the University of Melbourne.

Around the department ...

UW-Madison Professor David Rosenthal accompanied a delegation to El Salvador Jan. 8-14, 2017, to conduct meetings with rehabilitation and health providers in hopes of developing collaborative relationships that could lead to sustainable initiatives. The delegation was supported by the School of Education’s Global Education Committee and the Madison-Arcatao Sister City Project. Rosenthal, who chairs the rehabilitation psychology area of RPSE, had previously accompanied medical and rehabilitation delegations to El Salvador working with ALGES, the wounded veteran group. During these visits he explored medical, education and rehabilitation needs of survivors of decades of war. During this most recent visit, Rosenthal met with government officials and national organizational leaders in the capital, San Salvador, and in the Department of Chalatenango to further such collaborations.

• Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, who spent more than two decades as a highly respected faculty member with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, left UW-Madison to become dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Applied Health Sciences, a post she started in August 2016. During her time at UW-Madison Hanley-Maxwell, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, served as both department chair and head of the special education area. Hanley-Maxwell had served as an associate dean since August 2009, the same year she received a School of Education Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award.