Professional Development Center

Best Practices in Applied Psychology Workshop Series


The School of Education and Human Development School Psychology Program and Professional Development Center at the University of Southern Maine are pleased to announce the following workshops for psychologists and related mental health professionals during the 2013-2014 academic year.

All events will be held in Bailey Hall on the USM Gorham Campus. All events have psychology CEUs available.

To download a registration form (pdf) please click here or you can call 207-780-5055.

Date Topic Cost
9/6 Who Cares About Kelsey? Movie Screening and Panel Discussion - Improving Student Behavior in Schools Free!
10/4 Threat Assessment $70.00
11/1 Best Practices in Autism Diagnosis and Treatement $145.00
12/6 Understanding the DSM-5 $145.00
1/31 Maine SASP Student Conference $145.00
2/28 Functional Behavior Assessment for Anxiety and Depression $145.00
3/28 Eligibility, Diagnosis, and Team Decisions $145.00
4/11 Formative Assessment $145.00
5/23 Positive Psychology $145.00

Workshop Descriptions

Who Cares About Kelsey? Movie Screening and Discussion
September 6, 2013; 6:00-9:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

This movie and follow-up panel discussion will explore how schools can use effective system-level interventions to support students at risk for failure and dropout. This session is ideal for classroom teachers, school psychologists, building principals and other educators who are concerned about the increase in behavior challenges that students are facing in schools.

Threat Assessment
October 4, 2013; 1:00pm-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenter: James Babcock

Sadly, there have been too many school shootings and other episodes of extreme school violence. This session will provide participants with initial training to conduct assessments of specific threats that students make in schools. Threat assessment is the only research-based method for evaluating students’ danger in school settings. Join us to learn how to use recent data and FBI guidelines to promote and support school safety.

Best Practices in Autism Diagnosis and Treatment
November 1, 2013; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenters: Gretchen Jefferson, Nick Potts, Michele Sanchez, Michael Scheib, and Meaghan Swan

Autism (now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD) is the fastest growing condition for which school-age students become eligible for special education. This day-long workshop will draw from the expertise of practitioners who have worked with students with ASD for many years and share their insights into how best to identify and treat this complex condition. Using research-based methods, the presenters will illustrate what best practices are and how the new DSM-5 criteria provide a more expanded definition of this condition.

Understanding DSM-5

December 6, 2013; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenters: Heather Alvarez, James Babcock, Rebekah Bickford, Alexis Kiburis, and Meaghan Swan

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published in May 2013 amid the most fanfare and turmoil of any DSM to date. This workshop will include a panel of practitioners with diverse backgrounds who will discuss and explore how the DSM-5 does or does not change how mental health professionals think about their work.

Maine SASP Student Conference
January 31, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is the largest single organization that advocates for high-quality psychology services in U.S. schools. Each spring NASP holds a national conference at which major topics of importance to schools are discussed. This workshop will offer a snapshot of the topics to be covered at the 2014 NASP conference in Washington D.C. and give doctoral students at USM the opportunity to plan and run a day-long event focusing on important topics for Maine school psychologists.

Functional Behavior Assessment for Anxiety and Depression
February 28, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
301 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenter: Mark Steege

Many school-age students experience anxiety and depression but do not have access to treatments and supports in the school setting. This session will provide an overview of the key features of these conditions and how schools can establish both standard protocol and problem-solving methods for students who exhibit symptoms. Using research-based methods, the session will discuss the importance of multi-disciplinary supports for students with so-called “internalizing” disorders.

Eligibility, Diagnosis, and Team Decisions
March 28, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenter: Heather Alvarez

Too often, school psychologists are caught in between the need to provide “diagnostic impressions” and a school’s current resources. This session will provide guidance on the key differences between diagnosis of a mental health condition and the legally defined process that guides special education decision making. Participants will learn how a diagnosis is separate from an IEP’s eligibility decision and steps to take so that school teams consider both a student’s needs and the school’s legal responsibility.

Formative Assessment
April 11, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenter: Theodore Christ

Recent policy frameworks in both general and special education have led to a focus on formative assessment as essential for effective instruction. This session will provide a background on the origins of formative assessment as well as information about how educators can use assessment tools to know which students need extra help. The importance of using reliable and valid assessments that meet special education requirements will be emphasized.

Positive Psychology
May 23, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Presenter: Rebekah Bickford

Positive psychology has been an identified field for many years, but only recently has it been recognized as useful in schools. This session will share the basic tenets of positive psychology and how it can be used in school settings to promote improved student outcomes. Presenters will explain how using proactive methods such as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) improve outcomes for the most at-risk students.


Brought to you by the University of Southern Maine, School of Education and Human Development, Department of Educational Psychology and Exceptionality and Professional Development Center