Sarah Vess

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Sarah Vess
Associate Dean of the Stout School of Education, Associate Professor of Educator Preparation

Dr. Sarah Vess is the Associate Dean of the Stout School of Education at High Point University.  She is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of North Carolina and is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She is currently the co-principal investigator of the Incredible Years Dinosaur School Sustainability Grant funded by the Duke Endowment to retain social-emotional learning practices in pre-K classrooms across Guilford County.


Dr. Vess joined the HPU faculty in Fall 2011 and served as the Chair of the Specialized Curriculum and Instruction Department for five years before moving into the Associate Dean role. She teaches courses in educational psychology, behavior management, special education, and research methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Dr. Vess is an active proponent of extending student learning beyond the classroom through service, research, and international experience. She teaches service learning courses that involve partnerships with K-12 schools in the High Point area and has taught courses that involved taking students to South Africa, Australia, and the United Kingdom. She supervises undergraduate research and has mentored several students through presentations at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and university sponsored conferences and publications.


Dr. Vess’ current research interests involve working with teachers and school leaders to sustain impactful instructional practices such as incorporation of social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula and supporting SEL and teacher behavior management practices.  Her research agenda involves supporting teacher-child interactions to facilitate learning and improve teacher-child relationships. Recent completed research projects include designing and evaluating Tier 2 reading support interventions for middle school students and creating an after-school literacy and arts enrichment program for a local school. Previous completed projects include research on the use of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and teaching pre-service educators about response to intervention techniques through local partnerships with school psychologists. Dr. Vess’ recent publications include articles in the Journal of Applied School Psychology and Teaching Education.


Dr. Vess is a Fulbright Scholar and earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Georgia where she was a Presidential Fellow. Prior to joining the HPU faculty, Dr. Vess worked as a school psychologist for Guilford County Schools and as a Clinical Therapist at Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC where she specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.