Jessica R. Toste

Jessica R. Toste

Assistant Professor

Learning Disabilities/Behavior Disorders


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 408H


Courses of Instruction
SED 378R - Reading Assessment & Development with Diverse Populations

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Special Education
1 University Station, D5300
Austin, TX 78712
UT Mail Code: D5300


Dr. Jessica Toste is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and a fellow of the Reading Institute within The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. She received her PhD in educational psychology from McGill University (Montreal) in 2011. Her research interests are related to students with learning disabilities and effective reading interventions, with a particular focus on psychosocial processes and classroom climate as determinants of school success. She has published articles and book chapters on resilience factors related to achievement and psychosocial functioning of youth at-risk. Toste was trained in reading intervention research as a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University (2011-2013) and as a Fulbright scholar/visiting researcher at the Florida Center for Reading Research (2008-2009). She was the recipient of the Canadian Education Association’s 2012 Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education. She is also a licensed elementary school teacher in Quebec and has extensive experience as a reading specialist.


PhD, McGill University (2011); Educational Psychology

MA, McGill University (2007); Educational Psychology

BEd, McGill University (2005); Elementary Education

Representative Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Toste, J. R., Compton, D. L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Gilbert, J. K., Cho, E., Barquero, L. A., & Bouton, B. D. (under review). Understanding unresponsiveness to Tier 2 reading intervention: Exploring the classification and profiles of adequate and inadequate responders. 

Toste, J. R., Heath, N. L., Connor, C. M., & Peng, P. (under review). Reconceptualizing teacher-student relationships: Applicability of the working alliance within classroom contexts.

Toste, J. R., Bloom, E. L., & Heath, N. L. (2012). The differential role of classroom working alliance in predicting school-related outcomes for students with and without high-incidence disabilities. The Journal of Special Education. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0022466912458156

Connor, C. M., Morrison, F. J., Schatschneider, C., Toste, J. R., Lundblom, E., Crowe, E. E., & Fishman, B. (2011). Effective classroom instruction: Implications of child characteristics by reading instruction interactions on first graders’ word reading achievement. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 4(3), 173-207.

Heath, N. L., Roberts, E., & Toste, J. R. (2011). Perceptions of academic performance: Positive illusions in adolescents with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0022219411428807

Connor C. M., Kaya, S., Luck, M., Toste, J. R., Canto, A., Rice, D., Tani, N., & Underwood, P. S. (2010). Content-area literacy: Individualizing student instruction in second grade science. The Reading Teacher, 63(6), 474-485.

Foorman, B. R., Petscher, Y., Lefsky, E., & Toste, J. R. (2010). Reading First in Florida: Five years of improvement. Journal of Literacy Research, 42, 71-93.

Book Chapters

Toste, J. R., Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. (2013). Supporting struggling readers in high school: A peer-mediated approach. In R. T. Boon & V. G. Spencer (Eds.), Adolescent Literacy: Strategies for Content Comprehension in Inclusive Classrooms (pp. 79-92). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Company, Inc. 

Miller, A., Toste, J. R., Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. (2012). Timely support for struggling learners: Response to intervention. In D. R. Reutzel & C. Thomas (Eds.), The Handbook of Research-Based Practice in Early Childhood Education (pp. 161-174). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Ungar, M., Toste, J. R., & Heath, N. L. (2010). Self-efficacy and resilience measures. In E. Mpofu & T. Oakland (Eds.), Rehabilitation and Health Assessment: Applying ICF Guidelines (pp. 473-492). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Recent Awards

    • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2011-2013)
    • Canadian Association of Educational Psychology, G. M. Dunlop Distinguished Contribution Award (2012)
    • Canadian Education Association, Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education (2011)
    • Governor General’s Gold Medal, McGill University recognition of outstanding PhD graduate (2011)
    • Fulbright Foundation—Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program, Student Research Award (2008-2009)     

Research Interests and Expertise

Reading intervention; learning disabilities; psychosocial processes; mechanisms of risk and resilience; teacher-student relationship; classroom climate

Boards, Committees and Associations

    • Fellow, Reading Institute of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk
    • Member of Council for Exceptional Children, Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, American Educational Research Association, Canadian Society for the Study of Education