School Psychology program alumna Jessica Dirsmith was selected for the IUP Young Alumni Achievement Award. Jessica is a Pennsylvania and nationally certified school psychologist and a licensed psychologist. She received a bachelor’s degree in biobehavioral health from Penn State University and a master’s degree and doctorate in educational psychology from IUP.
Dirsmith has served as both a school psychologist practitioner and a trainer of future school psychologists for over a decade. She is also the co-founder of Prevail Educational Solutions, an educational consulting firm.
Dirsmith is the 2017 recipient of the School Psychologist of the Year Award in Pennsylvania. Active in advocacy for school psychologists, she is on the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania board and serves as the ASPP membership chair.
Her research interests include school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports with a focus on underserved populations including racially and culturally diverse students, English learners, and students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. She also researches school-based mental health, emotional and behavioral disability case law, legally defensible assessment practices, and identification of underserved gifted learners.
Dirsmith recently co-authored a book on the assessment of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Additionally, she is passionate about a problem-solving approach, incorporating strengths-based methods to best support academic, social, emotional, and behavioral learning for all students.
Department of Educational and School Psychology