Dr. Emily Sobeck

Associate Professor of Special Education

[email protected]
(740) 284-5329


Download CV

Emily Sobeck, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Franciscan University.  Sobeck has over ten years of experience working with children with disabilities and behavior management. She received her doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh in special education where she focused on behavior management strategies for paraeducators, participant diversity in special education research, the training and supervision of paraeducators, and antecedent strategies to prevent challenging behavior. Her work at the University of Pittsburgh won the 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award through the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Currently, her research focuses on preparing paraeducators and teacher dyads to effectively manage challenging behaviors in the classroom, improving the utilization of paraeducators within the school structure, and preparing pre-service teachers and administrators within IHE to effectively supervise paraeducators. Her recent projects include investigating paraeducators’ use of behavior management EBPs through performance feedback, evaluating ways in which teacher preparation programs equip pre-service teachers to supervise paraeducators, reviewing strategies for teachers to use to support paraeducators implementing Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), and examining ways in which school administrators are prepared to supervise paraeducators. Sobeck has published in several scholarly journals, including Journal of Special Education, Remedial and Special Education, Intervention in School and Clinic, and Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals. She is also a peer-reviewer for the Journal of Special Education, Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, and Assessment for Effective Instruction.  In addition to her scholarly work, Sobeck teaches courses on assessment and instruction for students with disabilities, classroom organization, and behavior management. She also co-chairs the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) at Franciscan University. Additionally, Sobeck provides trainings to school districts on classroom and behavior management, functional behavioral assessment, strategies for preventing challenging behavior, and other similar topics.

  • University of Pittsburgh, Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education, April 2016
  • California University of Pennsylvania, Master of Education, December 2011
  • California University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Arts in Education, December 2007

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor of Special Education – Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Summer Adjunct Professor of Special Education – University of Pittsburgh
  • Research and Teaching Assistant, Doctoral Student, Apprenticeship in Special Education Instruction, Research, and Leadership (ASPIRE) Fellow – University of Pittsburgh
  • O’Donnell Learn: Subject Matter Expert, Primary content author for an online-based introduction to special education course offered by Carnegie Mellon-backed by Acrobatiq and SAGE publications. Course: Special Education and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families and Students
  • Special Education Extended School Year (ESY) Teacher (K-3), Chartiers Valley School District, Bridgeville, PA *2013 Program Development
  • Special Education Teacher (Grades K -1, Resource and Inclusion) – Chartiers Valley Primary School
  • Special Education Long-Term Substitute Teacher (Grades 9-11, Reading Decoding, Reading Comprehension, English 9, English 10, English 11, Study Skills) – Baldwin High School

Licensure and Certifications

  • Principal Papers (PK-12)
  • Instructional II Special Education (PK-12)
  •  Instructional II Elementary Education (K-6)
  •  Instructional II English (7-12)
  •  Autism Specialist (PK-12)
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
  • Instructional I Special Education (PK-12)
  •  Instructional I Elementary Education (K-6)
  •  Instructional I English (7-12)
Select Publications
  • Sobeck, E.E., (2019). Perspectives on current practice and barriers of paraeducator training for individuals who work with students with autism in inclusive settings. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals.
  • Wynkoop, K. S., Robertson, R., & Sobeck, E.E. (2018). Effects of video modeling and video modeling plus prompting and reinforcement on daily living skills of a student with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals
  • Robertson, R.R., Schwartz, R., Sobeck, E. E., & Wynkoop, K. (2017). Participant diversity and generalizability in special education research: Parent-mediated behavior interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder.  Remedial and Special Education, 38(5), 259-271.
  • Sobeck, E. E. (2016). Nine tips for creating an effective extended school year program for students with disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic.
School Faculty Achievements

Special Education Professors Receive $75,000 Research Grant

Two professors in Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Education Department received a $75,000 grant from the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children to create an online module to help educators across the state teach evidence-based behavior management practices.

Department Faculty