Dr. David L. Lee

Dr. David L. Lee
Phone: 8148653567
Office Address:
125 Cedar Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Acting Department Head
Professor of Education (Special Education)


Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education


Special Education
Applied Behavioral Analysis


My research focuses on strategies to help students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD), or at risk for EBD, overcome academic performance deficits. The overarching question asked in my research is, “How can we help children/adolescents, who typically do not engage in academic tasks, begin and engage in those tasks for longer periods of time in order to produce more fluent performance?” Students who refuse to engage in academic or social activities are at risk for failure. In order to learn any skill, whether it be reading, math, or playing a musical instrument for that matter, one must first make contact with the relevant materials and then remain at high levels of engagement as they practice the skill. Unfortunately, many students with EBD fail to engage in academic activities, which leads to a continuous cycle of frustration, lack of engagement, and ultimately academic failure. My research aim is to break this cycle.

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels


Education Levels

Middle School/Junior High


Classroom Management
Learning Assessment

Methodological Research

Quantitative Research

Special Education

Applied Behavioral Analysis

Courses Taught

SPLED 454 - Assessment for Instruction

SPLED 500 - Doctoral Seminar: Evidence-Based Practices in Assessment in Special Education

SPLED 554 - Developing and Interpreting Assessments in Special Education

SPLED 573 - Introduction to Research in Special Education

SPLED 503A - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Basic Principles I

SPLED 503B - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Basic Principles II

SPLED 503C - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Extended Applications I

SPLED 503C - Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education: Extended Applications II

Office Hours

Wednesdays 4:00 to 5:30 and by appointment

Education History

Ph.D. Purdue University (1998) M.Ed. California University of PA (1994) B.S. University of Pittsburgh (1992)

Representative Publications

Farmer, T. W., Chen, C. C., Hamm, J. V., Moats, M. M., Mehtaji, M., Lee, D. L., Huneke, M. R. (in press). Supporting teachers’ management of middle school social dynamics: The scouting report process. Intervention in School and Clinic.

Belfiore, P. J., Kitchen, T., & Lee, D. L. (2016). Functional analysis of inappropriate behavior: Rule as an establishing operation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 49-50, 100-107.

Farmer, T. W., Gatzke-Kopp, L. M., Lee, D. L., Dawes, M., & Talbott, E. (2016). Research and policy on disability: Linking special education to developmental science. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 138-145.

Vostal, B. R. & Lee, D. L. (2015). Effects of Oral Reading Fluency on Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders’ Latency to Continue Reading. Reading Improvement, 52, 112-125.

Hua, Y., Lee, D. L., Stansberry, S., & McAfee, J.  (2014). The effects of assignment format and choice on academic task completion. Journal of Education and Learning, 3, 101-110.

Hua, Y., Lee, D. L., Stansbery, S., & McAfee, J. K. (2014). Time-based versus task-based contingencies: Which is more effective for independent academic assignments for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 20, 107-117.

Motoca, L. M., Farmer, T. W., Hamm, J. V., Byun, S., Lee, D. L., Brooks, D. S., Rucker, N., & Moohr, M. M. (2014). Directed consultation, the SEALS model, and teachers' classroom management. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 22, 67-73.

Vostal, B. R., Lee, D. L., Miller, F. (2013). Effects of Environmental Stimulation on Students Demonstrating Behaviors Related to ADHD: A Review of the Literature. International Journal of Special Education, 28, 1-12.

Miller, F. G. & Lee, D. L. (2013). Do functional behavioral assessments improve intervention effectiveness for students diagnosed with ADHD? A single-subject meta analysis. Journal of Behavioral Education, 22, 253-282.

Farmer, T.W., Hamm, J.V., Lee, D., Lane, K.L., Sutherland, K.S., Hall, C.M., & Murray, R.M. (2013). Conceptual Foundations and Program Components of a Universal Contextual Intervention to Support At-risk Early Adolescents: Preliminary Findings from Project REAL. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 23, 115-139.

Lylo, B. J. & Lee, D. L. (2013). Effects of delayed audio-based self-monitoring on teacher completion of learning trials. Journal of Behavioral Education, 22, 120-138.

Farmer, T. W., Lane, K. L., Lee, D. L., Hamm, J. V. (2012). The social functions of antisocial behavior: Considerations for school violence prevention strategies for students with disabilities. Behavioral Disorders, 37, 149-162   

Lee, D. L., Lylo, B., Vostal, B., & Hua, Y. (2012). The effects of high-preference problems on the completion of non-preferred mathematics problems. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45, 223-228.

Lee, D. L., Vostal, B. R., Lylo, B., & Hua, Y. (2011). Collecting behavioral data in general education settings: A primer for behavioral data collection. Beyond Behavior, 20, 22-30.

Vostal, B. R. & Lee, D. L. (2011). Behavioral momentum during a continuous reading task: An exploratory study. Journal of Behavioral Education, 20, 163-181.


U.S. Department of Education (2014-2017). " Supporting Early Adolescent Learning and Social Success across the Middle School Years: The SEALS II Intervention Development Program " # R305A140434.  (Co-PI with Farmer & Hamm), $ 1,497,389

U.S. Department of Education (2014-2018).  "Penn State University: Training in The Professoriate for Special Education" # H325D130021.  (Co-PI with P. Riccomini), $797,900

U.S. Department of Education (2011-2016).  "Supporting Early Adolescent Learning and Social Success – Project SEALS" #R305A110079.  (Co-PI with Farmer & Hamm), $3,952,267

U.S. Department of Education (2009-2015).  "Preparing Professor Researchers in Evidence-Based Practices" #H325D090042.  (Co-PI with K. Ruhl), $799,967

Activities and Honors

Co-Editor: Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools