Sandra Christenson

Sandra Christenson - (Member)
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Education Sciences Building
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
PhD in Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1988
School-based prevention of behavioral and emotional problems
School-based prevention of academic problems

Dr. Christenson is the Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership, Professor of Educational Psychology, and faculty member in the School Psychology Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on interventions that enhance engagement at school and with learning for marginalized students with and without disabilities. She is particularly interested in the identification of contextual factors that facilitate student engagement and increase the probability for student success in school, and the identification of the effect of family-school partnership variables. She has been a principal investigator on several federally-funded projects in the areas of dropout prevention and family-school partnerships, including Check & Connect, which is in its 22nd year of research. There are now four efficacy trials of Check & Connect occurring in large cities (Montreal, Chicago, San Diego, San Jose). Most recently, the Check & Connect program has been adapted to prepare middle and high school students to be college ready as well as for use in community college settings.
Dr. Christenson publishes extensively; recently she co-edited the Handbook of Research on Student Engagement. Dr. Christenson was the 1992 recipient of the Lightner Witmer Award from APA for scholarship and early career contributions to the field of school psychology, the 2005 recipient of the Blanche F. Ittleson Award from the American Orthopsychiatric Association for her pioneering work with families, and the 2007 recipient of the Senior Scientist Award from APA in recognition of her career-long significant program of scholarship.

Dr. Amy Reschly, 2003, Associate Professor, University of Georgia
Dr. Shui Fong Lam, 1994, University of Hong Kong
Dr. Angie Pohl, 2012, Check & Connect Research Associate, University of Minnesota


  • The SSSP Board Meeting during the NASP Convention will be held Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 12 to 4 at Swissotel (connected to the Hyatt) MT069.
  • The SSSP Members' Meeting and Reception will be held Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 5 to 7 at Maggiano’s Downtown Chicago, 516 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654.