Natalie Olinghouse

Associate Professor

Educational Psychology

CV and Research Profiles

Curriculum Vitae

Research Gate Profile

Google Scholar Profile


Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
Research Scientist, Center for Behavioral Education and Research

Academic Degrees

Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University, 2006
M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, Michigan State University, 1999
B. S., Mental Impairment/Elementary Education, Eastern Michigan University, 1990

Areas of Expertise



Educational Policy

Learning Disabilities

Testing & Accountability


Dr. Natalie Olinghouse is an Associate Professor in the Educational Psychology Department and a Research Scientist in the Center for Behavioral Education and Research. Prior to The University of Connecticut, she was an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education and Special Education at Michigan State University. Dr. Olinghouse recently completed currently a four-year, federally funded research project exploring the relationship between states’ standards/assessments and student writing achievement. She has written publications for research and practitioner audiences on writing instruction and assessment, reading and writing connections, individual differences in writing, and the role of vocabulary in written composition. She is particularly interested in developing reliable and valid writing assessment and scoring methods. Dr. Olinghouse teaches graduate courses in the areas of student assessment, writing instruction and assessment, and academic/professional writing. She also provides consultation to states and districts on improving writing instruction and assessment to better meet students’ needs. Dr. Olinghouse has twelve years of special education teaching experience with students with mild to severe disabilities in Michigan and Florida.

Funded Research

Alignment across K-12 Writing Standards, Assessments, Achievement, and Postsecondary Expectations: A State-by-State Analysis. Institute for Education Sciences. (2010-2015)

Examining the Validity of Single-Genre, Holistically-Scored Writing Benchmark Assessments. University of Connecticut, Office of Sponsored Programs. (January 2013-December 2013)

Vocabulary: Genres differences in writing. University of Connecticut, Office of Sponsored Programs. (July 2009-June 2010)

Exploring reading and writing connections in struggling readers. University of Connecticut, Office of Sponsored Programs. (Feb. 2009-May 2009)

Other Funded Work

Coyne, M., Kearns, D., Olinghouse, N., Simonsen, B., Freeman, J. (2015-2020). National Center for Leadership in Intensive Interventions. U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. (subcontract with Vanderbilt University). $768,712.

Providence Public Schools: K-12 English Language Arts Curriculum I – V (with Michael Faggella-Luby and Mike Coyne; 2009-2014)


2014   Council for Learning Disabilities: Research Committee “Must Read” Article of the Year

Recent Publications

Troia, G. A., Olinghouse, N. G., Wilson, J, Stewart, K. A, Mo, Y., Hawkins, L, & Kopke, R. A. (in press). The Common Core writing standards: A descriptive study of content and alignment with a sample of former state standards. Reading Horizons.

Wilson, J., Olinghouse, N. G., McCoach, D. B., Santangelo, T., & Andrada, G. N. (2016). Comparing the accuracy of different scoring methods for identifying sixth graders at risk of failing a state writing assessment. Assessing Writing, 27, 11-23.

Troia, G. A., Olinghouse, N. G., Mo, Y., Hawkins, L., Kopke, R. A., Chen, A., Wilson, J., O’Shea, K. A. (2015). Academic standards for writing: To what degree do standards reflect evidence-based instructional practices and interventions? Elementary School Journal, 16, 291-321.

Olinghouse, N. G., Graham, S., & Gillespie, A. (2015). The relationship of discourse and topic knowledge to fifth-graders’ writing performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107, 391-406.

Hayes, J. R., & Olinghouse, N. G. (2015). What cognitive models have to say about the Common Core State Standards in writing. Elementary School Journal, 115, 480-497.

Recent Presentations

Jagaiah, T., Olinghouse, N.G., Petsche, A.,Wilson, J., & Stewart, K. (2016, April). International tests of English language: Alignment between what is tested and what is evaluated. Paper presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization, Harborside, Portsmouth, NH.

Howard, D., & Olinghouse, N. G. (2016, April). IELTS and TOEFL: A comparison of writing tasks and evaluation criteria. Poster presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization, Harborside, Portsmouth, NH.

Troia, G. A., & Olinghouse, N. G. (2016, February). State writing standards and assessments as predictors of writing achievement: NAEP analysis. Poster presented the 25th Annual Pacific Coast Research Conference, Loews Coronado Bay, San Diego, CA.

Olinghouse, N.G., Jagaiah, T., & Santangelo, T. (2016, February). Relationships between vocabulary, sentence and discourse measures across informative and persuasive genres. Poster presented the 25th Annual Pacific Coast Research Conference, Loews Coronado Bay, San Diego, CA.

In the News

What works in writing instruction. Education Week Teacher. October 30, 2013. Available at:

Improving K-12 writing standards: What will it take? Education Futures Emerging Trends and Technologies in K-12. October 23, 2013. Available at

Common Core will not fix K-12 writing failure. Examiner Online. October 13, 2013. Available at

Guidance needed on strategies for teaching Common Core, study says. Inside School Research. October 10, 2013. Available at

Why are a growing number of American student not proficient in writing? 1320 WILS. April 19, 2012. Available at:

Test-stressed out: Strategies for improving attitudes, scores. Education Week, March, 2007. Available at:


EPSY 5094 Literacy Supports Practicum (Graduate)
EPSY 5115 Writing Supports for Students with Learning Difficulties (Graduate)
EPSY 5116 Individual Student Assessment (Graduate)
EPSY 6094 Doctoral Seminar: Introduction to Academic Writing (Ph.D.)

Check This Out!

What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide: Teaching Elementary School Students to be Effective Writers

Doing What Works Writing Practice Guide Resource Library

Elementary Mathematics Writing Task Force

National Center on Intensive Intervention: Academic Intervention Tools Chart

National Center For Leadership on Intensive Intervention

Natalie Olinghouse
Contact Information
Phone860 486 6153
Mailing Address249 Glenbrook Road Unit 3064 , Storrs, CT 06269-3064
Office LocationGentry 001A
Office HoursTuesdays 3:00-4:00, by appointment