Stephanie Cawthon

Stephanie Cawthon

Associate Professor

Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences (HDCLS)


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 506K
By appointment on any day

(512) 471-0378

(512) 471-1288

View Website

Courses of Instruction
Educational Disabilities in the Schools
History and Systems of Psychology
Adolescent Development

Mailing Address
Dept of Educational Psychology
1 University Station D5800
Austin, Texas 78712
UT Mail Code: D5800

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)


Cawthon investigates issues of equity and access in education from multiple vantage points. (a) Cawthon is a national expert on issues related to standardized assessment and students who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly in the context of accountability reforms such as No Child Left Behind. She is the Associate Director for Research and Evidence Synthesis at pepnet2, a Technical Assistance and Dissemination project that serves individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing (see project website at (b) Cawthon explores assessment issues such as the effects of accommodations or item modifications on test scores for students with disabilities and English Language Learners. (c) Cawthon is a part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners looking at the potential of drama-based instruction for students from diverse backgrounds. This project focuses targeting teacher's pedagogical knowledge through innovtative, kinesthetic, and collaborative teaching strategies. See our videos and work in schools at


Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2002

Representative Publications

Cawthon, S. (2011). Accountability Reform and Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Gallaudet University Press.

Cawthon, S. Caemmerer, J., Dickson, D., Ocuto, O., Ge, J., Bond, M. (in press, 2014). Social skills as predictors of postsecondary outcomes for schools of the deaf. Applied Developmental Science.

Cawthon, S., Leppo, R. Carr, T., & Kopriva, R. (2013). Towards accessible assessments: The promises and limitations of test item modifications for students with disabilities and English language learners. Educational Assessment 18 (2) 73-98.

Cawthon, S. Schoffstall, S. & Garberoglio, C. L. (in press, 2014). How Ready are Postsecondary Institutions for Students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing? Educational Policy Analysis Archives.

Dawson, K., Cawthon, S., & Baker, S. (2011). Drama for Schools: Teacher change in an applied theatre professional development model. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16 (3), 313-335.

Current Research Projects and Grants

2011-2016 Center for Educational and Employment Outcomes for Deaf Students: PEPNET2. OSEP.
2012-2015 Arts Integration for Middle and High School Teachers, Carolyn Bartlett Family Foundation.

Recent Awards

2013-present Fellow, Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Faculty Fellows Fund
2012 Exceptional Book of the Year Award, Exceptionality Education International
2011-2012 Dean’s Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin.
2011-2012 Graduate School Diversity Mentoring Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin.

Research Interests and Expertise

Cawthon’s research focuses on access and equity in education. Her interests lie in the areas of instruction, assessment, and policy issues that affect those students who have been traditionally underserved. More specifically, Cawthon has an expertise in assessment accommodations, test development, and assessment policy related to standards-based and accountability reforms. Cawthon utilizes mixed methods approach to research, including secondary analysis of large-scale datasets, quasi-experimental design, arts-based methods, and qualitative designs.