Faculty Profile EMPHASIS AREA: LMS. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Educational Research, Classroom Active Engagement and Participation, Social Communication, Learning and Development, Observational Research, Language Development, Effective Instructional Practices

Nicole Sparapani
Assistant Professor

Nicole Sparapani is an assistant professor in the School of Education, and she also holds a faculty appointment at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Her research interests center around the development and evaluation of effective educational practices for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sparapani practiced as a certified speech-language pathologist on an interdisciplinary team serving preschool children with ASD for several years before pursuing her Ph.D. in Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University and postdoctoral training at Arizona State University. Her approach to research emphasizes the important influence of the dynamic classroom learning environment. She has developed and been involved in the development of several classroom observation tools that measure teacher, child, and environmental characteristics that relate to learning and development in students with ASD and diverse learning needs.

Research Interests

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Educational Research, Classroom Active Engagement and Participation, Social Communication, Learning and Development, Observational Research, Language Development, Effective Instructional Practices

Education

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Postdoctoral Research Scholar: Developmental Psychology
2016

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 
Doctor of Philosophy: Communication Science and Disorders 
2013

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 
Master of Arts: Speech-Language Pathology 
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Certificate of Clinical Competence
2003

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 
Bachelor of Arts: Communication Sciences and Disorders
2000

Professional Experience

2016-Present Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis

2015-2016 Educational Consultant, Learning Ovations, Inc.

2013-2016 Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Arizona State University

2005-2016 Child and Family Support Coach, Private Consultant

2010-2013 Content Coordinator/Interventionist, Florida State University 

2003-2009 Speech-Language Pathologist, Cherry Creek Schools, CO

Funded Research

Institute of Education Sciences, R324A170063.  Exploring Multi-Level System Factors Facilitating Educator Training and Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices.  P.I. Aubyn Stahmer.  Role: Co-Investigator.  Grant Duration: 9/1/2017 – 8/31/2010

Institute of Education Sciences, R305N160013.  Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students, Early Learning Observation System.  P.I. Carol M. Connor.  Role:Consultant.  Grant Duration: 6/1/2016 – 5/31/2021

Manuscripts and Publications

Sparapani, N, Morgan, L., Reinhardt, V.., Schatschneider, C., Wetherby, A.M. (2016). Evaluation of active engagement in elementary students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1–15. 10.1007/s10803-015-2615-2

Connor, C.M., Day, S., Phillips, B., Sparapani, N, Ingebrand S., McLean, L., Barrus, A., Kaschak, M. (2016). Reciprocal effects of reading, vocabulary, and executive functioning in early elementary school. Child Development.

McLean, L, Sparapani, N., Toste, J.R., Day, S., Connor, C.M. (2016). Classroom quality in first grade settings predicts students’ time spent in non-instructional activities and subsequent literacy achievement. Journal of School Psychology.

Connor, C.M., Ingebrand, S., Sparapani, N. (2016). What does effective teaching really look like? In: Taylor & Francis. Evaluating Literacy Instruction, 151–175. Routledge., New York, NY.

Sparapani, N., Connor, C.M., Day, S., Wood, T., Ingebrand, S., Mclean, L., Phillips, B. (2016). Profiles of foundational learning skills among first graders. Learning and Individual Differences.

Sparapani, N., Connor, C.M., McLean, L, Wood., T., Toste, J.R., Day, S. (under review). Direct and reciprocal effects among social skills, semantic knowledge, and reading comprehension in first grade. Contemporary Educational Psychology (Revise & Resubmit September, 2017)

McLean, L., Sparapani, N., Connor, C.M. (under review). The influence of students’ internalizing and externalizing behaviors on classroom instructional experiences in first grade. The Elementary School Journal

Morgan, L., Hooker, J., Sparapani, N., Reinhardt, V., Schatschneider, C., & Wetherby, A. (under review). Cluster randomized trial of the classroom SCERTS intervention for elementary students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Revise & Resubmit, August 2017)

Connor, C.M., Kelcey, B., Petscher, Y., Sparapani, N., Ingebrand, S., McLean, L., Carlisle, J. (in preparation). Creating opportunities to learn from text (COLT): Development of a classroom observational coding system.

Sparapani, N., Solari, E., McIntyre, N., Henry, A., Zajic, M., Towers, L. (in preparation). Analysis of instructor-student interactions within a listening comprehension intervention for children with autism: Implications for instructional effectiveness.

Research Presentations

Fitton, L., McIlraith, A., Hooker, J., Sparapani, N., Wood, C., & Adlof, S. (2017, November). Adapting to the modeling revolution: A guide to SEM & HLM. Oral panel accepted to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California

Sparapani, N., Solari, E., McIntyre, N., Zajic, M., Henry, A. (2017, June). Analysis of instructor-student interactions within a listening comprehension intervention for children with autism: Implications for instructional effectiveness. Poster presented at the Society for Scientific Study of Reading Annual Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sparapani, N., Solari, E., McIntyre, N., Zajic, M., Henry, A., Mundy, P. (2017, May). Strategic reading comprehension intervention for children with ASD: Developing an observational tool to identify patterns of active engagement and instructional support. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Connor, C.M., Sparapani, N., Vandell, D., (2017, April). Using Assessment and the OLOS Observation system to inform and promote effective early learning opportunities for young children. Oral panel presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.

Connor, C., M., Sparapani, N., May, H., Wood, T., Fishman, B., Morrison, F. (2016, July). From research to practice: Supporting teachers’ efforts to individualize literacy instruction using A2i technology. Paper presented at the Society for Scientific Study of Reading Annual Conference, Porto, Portugal.

Sparapani, N., Reinhardt, V., Morgan, L., Schatschneider, C., & Wetherby, A. (2016, May). Latent profiles of classroom active engagement among early elementary students with autism spectrum disorder. Presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Sparapani, N., Ingebrand, S., Day, S., Wood, T., McLean, L., Connor, C.M. (2015, November). Developmental profiles of early elementary students. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO.

Sparapani, N., Ingebrand, S., Wood, T., Day, S., Connor, C.M. (2015, October). Latent profile growth models of literacy skills in elementary students at-risk or identified with learning disabilities. Poster presented at the Council for Learning Disabilities Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Sparapani, N., Ingebrand, S., Day, S., Connor, C.M. (2015, July). Latent profiles of school readiness in a sample of first grade students. Poster presented at the Society for Scientific Study of Reading Annual Conference, The Big Island, Hawaii.

McLean, L., Sparapani, N., Toste, J., Connor, C.M. (2015, July). Classroom quality as a predictor of student time in non-instructional activities and literacy achievement in first grade. Poster presented at the Society for Scientific Study of Reading Annual Conference, The Big Island, Hawaii.

Morgan, L., Reinhardt, V., Sparapani, N., Schatschneider, C., & Wetherby, A. (2015, May). Randomized controlled trial of the classroom SCERTS intervention project for students with ASD. Paper presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT.

Sparapani, N., McLean, L., & Connor, C.M. (2014, November). The influence of social skills on vocabulary and reading outcomes in elementary students. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.

Sparapani, N., Morgan, L., Reinhardt, V., & Wetherby, A.M. (2014, July). Instructor language and student active engagement in elementary students with autism spectrum disorder. Poster presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading Annual Conference, Santa Fe, NM.

Carlisle; J., Connor, C.M., Kelcey, B., Petscher, Y., Sparapani, N., Ingebrand, S. (2014, July). Development of an observation system: creating opportunities to learn from text. Paper presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading Annual Conference, Santa Fe, NM

Morgan, L., Sparapani, N., & Wetherby, A.M. (2013, February). Classroom active engagement for students with autism spectrum disorder: The classroom SCERTS intervention project. Paper presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research Annual Conference, San Sebastian, Spain.

Wetherby, A.M., Woods, J., Brown, J., & Sparapani, N. (2012, November). Effects of the early social interaction project for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Morgan, L., Sparapani, N., & Wetherby, A.M. (2012, November). The CSI project: classroom SCERTS intervention for students with autism spectrum disorder. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, GA.

Morgan, L., Sparapani, N., Ramos, J., & Wetherby, A.M. (2012, June). A confirmatory factor analysis of the classroom SCERTS intervention measure of transactional support for students with autism spectrum disorder. Paper presented at the International Conference on Innovative Research in Autism, France.

Sparapani, N., Morgan, L., & Wetherby, A.M. (2012, May). Evaluation of classroom performance in students with autism spectrum disorder. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Toronto, Canada.

Sparapani, N., Morgan, L., Bartley, J., Reinhardt, V., & Wetherby, A.M. (2011, May). Evaluation of active engagement in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San Diego, CA.

Service

Journal peer review activities

  • 2017–Present, School Mental Health
  • 2016–Present, Autism Research
  • 2016–Present, Review of Educational Research
  • 2016–Present, Assessment for Effective Intervention
  • 2016–Present, Psychiatry Research
  • 2014–Present, Child Development
  • 2014–Present, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness
  • 2014–Present, Early Education and Development
  • 2014–Present, American Educational Research Association
  • 2012, Communication Science and Disorders Student Journal
  • 2012, American Journal for Speech-Language Pathology
  • 2011, Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools 

Professional Societies

  • 2016–Present Faculty Member, University of California Center for Research on Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk
  • 2016–Present Member, Society for Research in Child Development
  • 2015–Present Special Interest Group: School-Based Issues, Member
  • 2014–Present Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, Member
  • 2013–2015 Member, American-Speech-Hearing-Association Special Interest Group, Language and Education & School-Based Issues
  • 2010–2016 International Society for Autism Research, Member
(530) 752-6137
njsparapani@ucdavis.edu

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