Shawn Kent, PhD

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Education
  • Associate Dean, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences


  • PhD, Curriculum & Instruction-Special Education, Florida State University
  • SPsyS, School Psychological Services, Central Michigan University
  • MA, Psychology, Central Michigan University
  • BS, Psychology, Central Michigan University

Courses Taught

  • Diagnostic and Prescriptive Teaching for Exceptional Children
  • Teaching Strategies in Special Education
  • Assessment of Students with Exceptionalities
  • Individual Psychological Evaluation
  • Applied Multivariate Statistics
  • Methods in Educational Research

Teaching Focus

Dr. Kent focuses on evidence-based assessment and instructional practices to support students with/at-risk for learning difficulties. In addition, he has experience and expertise in teaching research methods and data analysis to students at the graduate level.

Research Interests and Publications

Dr. Kent’s research is focused on screening and identification of students at-risk for reading/literacy difficulties, instruction/intervention to support struggling readers and writers, and determining student response to instruction. Additionally, he conducts research in the area of writing development and assessment.

Relevant Selected Publications:

  • Ahmed, Y., Kent, S.C., Cirino, P., Keller-Margulis, M. (in press). The not-so-simple view of writing in struggling readers/writers. Reading & Writing Quarterly.
  • Kent, S.C., Yun, J., & Wanzek, J. (2019). Screening in the upper elementary grades: Identifying fourth grade students at-risk for failing the state reading assessment. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 44, 160-172.
  • Kent, S.C., Wanzek, J., & Martinez, L. (2018). The application of empirically supported practices in middle school social studies classrooms. Remedial and Special Education, 39, 341-352.
  • Kent, S.C., Wanzek, J., & Al Otaiba, S. (2017). Reading instruction for fourth-grade struggling readers and the relation to student outcomes. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 33, 395-411.
  • Wanzek, J., Al Otaiba, S., Petscher, Y., Kent, S.C., Schatschneider, C., Haynes, M.,… & Jones, F.G. (2016). Examining the average and local effects of a standardized treatment for fourth graders with reading difficulties. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9, 45-66.
  • Kent, S.C. & Wanzek, J. (2016). The relationship between component skills and writing quality and production across developmental levels: A meta-analysis of the last 25 years. Review of Educational Research, 86, 570-601.

Committee Service/Offices Held

Dr. Kent has been on the Executive Board for the Texas Chapter of the Council for Learning Disabilities for the past 3 years and is serving as President for the 2021-22 academic year.

Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Excellence Award, College of Education, University of Houston, 2019-2020
  • Early Career Publication Award, Council for Exceptional Children- Division for Research, 2019

Previous Academic/Professional Positions

Assistant Professor of Special Populations, University of Houston, 2015-2021

Additional Information

Dr. Kent began his career in education as a School Psychologist in Michigan. He also obtained certification in Special Education Administration and worked as a Supervisor of Special Education programs with oversight of both local and county-wide programs.

Prior to coming to HCU in Fall 2021, Dr. Kent was an Assistant Professor of Special Populations at the University of Houston where he taught in the undergraduate, M.Ed., and Ed.D. programs. He was part of two federally-funded grant projects with total awards of 2.75 million dollars. Dr. Kent remains a Co-Investigator on an OSEP-funded Model Demonstration Project that supports assessment, identification, and prevention of reading difficulties and dyslexia in elementary grades.

Outside of work, Dr. Kent and his wife have been married for over 23 years and have four children ranging in age from 6 to 19 years old. He and his family are members of Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Atascocita where Dr. Kent has served in both children’s ministry and on the hospitality team.