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Christopher Vatland, Ph.D.

Christopher Vatland, Ph.D.




MHC 2105


Chris received his M.Ed. in Family and Community Studies in 2000 and his Ph.D.  in Special Education at the University of Oregon in 2012. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Chris spent more than 15 years in the disability field, first as a direct support provider in Minnesota and Oregon, and then as a behavior support specialist, training specialist, and case manager for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During that time, he saw a need for improvement in support cohesion across settings and improved transition supports for youth and their families.

Chris’ research interests include positive behavior support in schools and other settings, family supports, and transition planning. His dissertation work involved implementation of a system of teacher feedback and support for person-centered planning for transition-age students with intellectual disabilities. He also helped to implement program-wide positive behavior support in a specialized preschool program for children with parents with disabilities. Chris then spent a year at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute, where he engaged in a variety of research related to use of technology with transition support and peer mentor training for children with Autism.  Chris is looking forward to engaging in systems implementation of positive behavior support – particularly at Tier 3, efforts to improve family support practices, and development of training and support for alternatives to restraint and seclusion in school and other settings.