Research Interests and Expertise

Dr. Jennifer B. Schnakenberg’s background is in educational psychology with an emphasis on learning, cognition, instruction, and motivation. She has provided high-quality professional development and technical assistance at the national, state, district, and campus levels to build capacity and implementation of evidence-based and sustainable literacy practices. Her research interests include teacher and leadership effectiveness, the impact of professional development on teacher learning and student achievement, interventions for students with reading difficulties of all ages, and how leadership influences school culture and climate.

As Chief Operating Officer for MCPER, Schnakenberg supervises and conducts all day-to-day operations across all funded projects, including planning, budgeting, and implementation. She has directed highly regarded, large-scale research projects related to secondary reading intervention, dropout prevention intervention, elementary reading intervention, and elementary behavior interventions. She has been the PI of several state and federal initiatives related to reading and literacy and has worked to improve how schools use data-based individualization to make instructional decisions. 

Schnakenberg has authored more than 100 high-quality, evidence-based professional development deliverables. Her notable work in literacy and the science of reading has been at the forefront of most of these training materials. Schnakenberg has presented more than 500 professional development sessions across the United States. These sessions have contributed to documented instructional enhancements for teachers and increased achievement for students.

Research Projects and Grants

  • House Bill 3 Texas Reading Academies
  • Behavior and Academic Supports: Integration and Cohesion (Project BASIC)
  • Kindergarten to Grade 3 Literacy Achievement Academies and Grades 4 and 5 Reading to Learn Academies
  • Texas Literacy Initiative, 2011–2017
  • Building Capacity for Response to Intervention Implementation Project
  • Preventing School Dropout With Secondary Students: The Implementation of an Individualized Reading Intervention and Dropout Prevention Intervention (Secondary), Institute of Education Sciences, 2010–2015, $2,017,289

Representative Publications

  • Edmonds, M. S., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Reutebuch, C., Cable, A., Tackett, K. K., & Schnakenberg, J. W. (2009). A synthesis of reading interventions and effects on reading comprehension outcomes for older struggling readers. Review of Educational Research79(1), 262–300.
  • Williams, J. L., & Wick Schnakenberg, J. (Spring, 2013). Administrator perception of threat from students with disabilities and disciplinary decisions. Texas Study of Secondary Education, 21–26.
  • Roberts, G., Vaughn, M. G., Vaughn, S., Fall, A.-M., Schnakenberg, J. B., Coleman, M. A., & Wexler, J. (in press). Student engagement: Malleability and treatment effects in a randomized trial. Prevention Science.
  • Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., Wexler, J., Vaughn, M. G., Fall, A.-M., & Schnakenberg, J. B. (2015). High school students with reading comprehension difficulties: Results of a randomized control trial of a two-year reading intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities48(5), 546–558. doi:10.1177/0022219413515511.
  • Wick Schnakenberg, J. B., & Hougen, M. C. (2015). Features of effective instruction. In M. Hougen (Ed.), Fundamentals of literacy instruction and assessment, 6–12(pp. 27–40). Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
  • Vaughn, S., Roberts, G., Schnakenberg, J. B., Fall, A.-M., Vaughn, M. G., & Wexler, J. (2014). Improving reading comprehension for high school students with disabilities: Effects for comprehension and school retention. Exceptional Children82(1), 117–131. doi:10.1177/0014402915585478.