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Degrees & Programs

Shockley McCarthy, Karla

PhD Candidate

Areas of Interest
Factors affecting academic achievement
Family-school-community connections
Academic achievement
Teacher self-efficacy
School social work
Exceptional & gifted education
Neurodevelopmental disorders
Solution-Focused Therapy
Ecological social work


Karla Shockley McCarthy, LSW is a student in the combined MSW- PhD program having recently completed the MSW program with a school social worker specialization.  Karla has experience in education and curriculum development as a former secondary social studies teacher and technical/occupational trainer. She also serves as an advocate for gifted and exceptional students. She is interested in an ecological approach to the relationships among schools, families, students, and communities as they relate to student outcomes. Karla is particularly interested in the impact of trauma, resiliency, and personal relationships on student achievement. She earned a BA in History from Allegheny College where she received the Wilbur Main Award for Economics. She completed her secondary social studies teaching certification at the University of Pittsburgh and was awarded entry to Pi Lambda Theta and Phi Delta Kappa honor societies. Karla is also interested in Solution Focused Therapy and is a Nurtured Heart Approach Certified Trainer.