Dr. Carta is Interim Director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her science focuses on developing strategies to minimize the effects of poverty on children’s outcomes and developing practices that teachers and parents can use to promote children’s language, early literacy and social outcomes. Her key research and policy interests include advancing the quality of children’s caregiving environments, methods for monitoring the progress of young children, and strategies for promoting family engagement in early intervention programs. She has been the PI of several multi-site research projects and centers funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Educational Sciences, and the Administration on Children and Families. She currently co-directs the National Bridging the Word Gap Research Network. She was a member of the Federal Advisory Panel on Head Start Research and Evaluation, Division of Early Childhood’s Commission on Recommended Practices, and served as the Editor of Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. Dr. Carta has authored and co-authored numerous articles, books and chapters. She has mentored 19 post-doctoral fellows and advised dozens of doctoral students across multiple disciplines.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Research with Children with Disabilities from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds, Juniper Gardens Children's Project, University of Kansas
Ph.D., Special Education/Early Childhood, University of Kansas
M.S., Human Development , Purdue University
B.A., Psychology, Bradley University
I teach a yearly Doctoral Seminar on Evidence-Based Practice in Early Intervention which is a required course of doctoral students in Early Childhood Special Education. I routinely act as a major advisor for Special Education doctoral students and serve on many doctoral comprehensive and dissertation committees. I also act a post-doctoral mentor for 2 post-doctoral fellows who are part of our IES-funded post-doctoral fellowship program in Early Childhood at Juniper Gardens Children's Project and also have developed an Emerging Scholars program for 6 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars who are carrying out research related to Bridging the Word Gap and coordinate the mentorship of those 6 scholars.
- Evidence-based practices in early childhood special education
- Risk and protective factors affecting the development of young children
- Assessment of young children
- Early parenting interventions for promoting positive outcomes in children
- Effective classroom interventions for young children with disabilities
- Strategies for promoting school readiness
- Observational approaches for examining quality of caregiving environments
- Language interventions for children in poverty
Dr. Carta is Director of Early Childhood Research at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on developing strategies to minimize the effects of poverty on children’s development and validating practices that teachers and parents can use to promote children’s school readiness and prevent child neglect. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the national Bridging the Word Gap Research Network and has been the PI of several multi-site research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Educational Sciences, and the Administration on Children and Families. She was formerly the co-director of the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood, and Co-PI of the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect. She is a co-author of many measures and interventions focused on young children including the Infant-Toddler Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs), the Teaching Pyramid Infant-Toddler Observation System (TPITOS), and the Ecobehavioral System for the Complex Assessment of Preschool Environments (ESCAPE). She serves on many editorial boards and national advisory boards including the Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation.
- Early intervention for children growing up in poverty
- Progress monitoring of infants and young children
- Improving outcomes for children and families affected by multiple environmental risks
- Observational approaches for measuring quality of caregiving environments and interactions
- Family-centered comprehensive intervention and prevention efforts for children at-risk
- Classroom interventions that support young children's early literacy and social development, hierarchical approaches to intervention for young children and their families (Response to Intervention
- Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)
National/International Service includes Membership of he Federal Advisory Panel on Head Start research and evaluation (appointed by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius); Member of the Division of Early childhood Recommended Practice Commission; Member of the DEC Committee to Develop a Position Paper on Child Abuse; Member of CEC Division of Research Early Career Award Committee; Program Coordinator and Co-Founder of the Conference for Research on Early Intervention; Reviewer for Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) National Pediatric Network; Judge for HRSA Challenge Grant on Bridging the Word Gap; Program Committee for the LENA Conference; Program Committee for Teaching and Learning Summit (Packard Foundation); Search Committee for the Early Childhood Unified Faculty Position in the Department of Special Education
Local Community Service includes: Project EAGLE Governance Committee; Children's Campus of Kansas City Partnership Coordinator; MIssion Project Development Committee; Mission Project Membership Committee;
Juniper Gardens Children's Project Committees:
--Strategic Planning--Leadership Transition Committee
--Strategic Planning--Financing and Marketing Committee
Carta, J. J, & Miller Young, R. (in press). Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Young Children: A Guide to RTI in Early Education.
McElhattan, T., & Carta, J. (in press). Readiness Skills. In . (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders.
Greenwood, C. R, Carta, J. J, Walker, D., Watson-Thompson, J., Gilkerson, J., Larson, A., & Schnitz, A. (in press). Conceptualizing a public health prevention-intervention for bridging the 30 million word gap. Clinical Child and Family Psychology. DOI:10.1007/s10567-017-0223-8
Greenwood, C. R, Carta, J. J, Spencer, E., Guerrero, G., Kong, Y., Atwater, J., & Goldstein, H. (n.d.). The effects of a tier 2 vocabulary and comprehension storybook intervention on preschool children's early learning: A replication. The Elementary School Journal, 116(4), 574-599.
Goldstein, H., Greenwood, C., Kelley, E., McCune, L., & Carta, J. (in press). Embedded Instruction Improves Vocabulary Learning During Automated Storybook Reading Among High-Risk Preschoolers.
Greenwood, C. R., & Carta, J. J. (in press). The effects of a tier 2 vocabulary an comprehension storybook intervention on preschool children's early learning: A replication. Elementary School Journal, 116(4), 574-599.
Carta, J. J, McElhattan, T., & Guerrero, G. (2016). The Application of Response to Intervention to Young Children with Identified Disabilities. In B. Reichow, B. Boyd, E. E. Barton, & S. A. Odom (Eds.), Handbook of Early Childhood Special Education (pp. 163-178). Springer.
Radeky, J., Carta, J. J, & Bair-Merritt, M. (2016). The 30 Million Word-Gap: Relevance for Pediatrics. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1486
Carta, J. J., Greenwood, C. R., Atwater, J., McConnell, S. R., Goldstein, H., & Kaminski, R. (2015). Identifying preschool children for higher tiers of language and early literacy instruction within a Response to Intervention framework. Journal of Early Intervention, 36(4), 281-291.
Greenwood, C. R., Carta, J., Goldstein, H., Kaminski, R., McConnell, S. R., & Atwater, J. (2015). The Center on Response to Intervention in Early Childhoo (CRTIEC): Developing evidence-basedtools for a multi-tiered approach to preschool language and early literacy instruction. Journal of Early Intervention, 36(4), 246-262.
Carta, J. (2015). Children Should Be Identified and Receive Special Education in Early Childhood. In B. Bateman, M. Tankersley, & J. Lloyd (Eds.), Enduring Issues in Special Education: Personal Perspectives. Routledge.
Carta, J. J (2015). Advances in multi-tiered systems of support for prekindergarten children: Lessons learned from 5 years of research and development from the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood. In S. R. Jimeserson, M. K Burns, & A. M VanderHeyden (Eds.), The Handbook of Response to Intervention: The science and practice of multi-tiered systems of support (2nd Ed.)(2ndnd ed.) (pp. 587-606).
Guttentag, C. L., Landry, S. H., Baggett, K. M., Noria, C. W., Borkowski, J. G., Swank, P. R., Williams, J. M., Farris, J. R., Carta, J. C, & Warren, S. F. (2014). "My Baby and Me": Effects of an early, comprehensive parenting intervention on at-risk mothers and their children. Developmental Psychology, 50, 1482-1496.
Carta, J., Larson, A., Greenwood, C., & Walker, D. (2014). Bridging the Word Gap Research Network.
Carta, J., & Greenwood, C. (2013). Future challenges and new directions in RTI. In V. Buysse & E. Peisner-Feinberg (Eds.), Handbook of response to intervention in early childhood. (pp. 421-431). Paul H. Brookes.
Bigelow, K., Lefever, J., Carta, J. J, & Borkowski, J. (2013). Enhancing parent engagement and program completion in a home visiting parenting intervention through the use of cellular phones. NHSA Dialog, 16, 172-177.
Kong, N., & Carta, J. (2013). Research synthesis of studies on responsive interaction intervention for children with or at risk for developmental delays. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 33, 4-17.
Carta, J. J., Lefever, J., Bigelow, K., Borkowski, J., & Warren, S. (2013). Randomized trial of a cellular-phone enhanced home visitation parenting intervention. . Pediatrics, 132(Suppl 2), 367-373. DOI:10.154/peds.2013-1021Q
Lefever, J., Bigelow, K., Carta, J., & Borkowski, J. (2013). Prediction of early engagement and completion of a home visitation parenting intervention for preventing child maltreatment. NHSA Dialog: A Research to Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field.
Carta, J., Greenwood, C., Baggett, K., Buzhardt, J., & Walker, D. (2012). Research-based approaches for individualizing caregiving and educational interventions for infants and toddlers in poverty. In S. Odom, E. Pungello, & N. Gardner-Neblett (Eds.), Re-visioning the Beginning: The implications of developmental and health science for infant/toddler care and poverty (pp. 333-349). New York: Guilford Press.
Greenwood, C. R., Carta, J. J., Atwater, J., Goldstein, H., Kaminski, R., & McConnell, S. R. (2012). Is a response to intervention approach to preschool language and literacy instruction needed? . Topics in Early Childhood Special Education.
Carta, J. (12/31/2016). Delivering effective and efficient early language and literacy instruction in early childhood MTSS/RTI frameworks. 19th Annual RTI Innovations Conference. Milwaukee, WI
Carta, J., Needleman, R. & Mendelsohn, A. (10/23/2016 - 10/23/2016). Bridging the Word Gap Research Network and Its Implications for Pediatrics. . American Association for Pediatrics. San Francisco, CA
Carta, J. (09/07/2016 - 09/09/2016).
Carta, J., Tamis-LeMonda, C. & Rowe, M. (07/12/2016 - 07/12/2016). Effective promotion of language development in infants and toddlers. National Research Conference on Early Childhood. Washington, DC
Carta, J. (05/23/2016 - 05/23/2016). Fifty Years of Research on Children with Disabilities and Their Families: From Changing Behaviors to Transforming Lives. Symposium Honoring the 50 Year Anniversary of the Frank Porter Graham Center. University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill, NC
Carta, J. (04/30/2016 - 04/30/2016). Bridging the Word Gap: What Wil It Take? Pediatric Academic Societies.. Baltimore, MD
Carta, J. (02/17/2016 - 02/17/2016). Advancing the science for improving children's early language development. Conference for Research Innovation in Early Intervention.. San Diego, CA
Carta, J. (10/31/2015). An Introduction to the Pyramid Model Infant-Toddler Observation System (TPITOS). Invited Workshop at the Head Start of Bernalillo County. Albuquerque, NM
Carta, J., Greenwood, C., Walker, D. & Larson, A. (10/01/2015 - 10/31/2015). Bridging the Word Gap Research Network: Collaborating to Improve Language Outcomes. Division of Early Childhood Conference. Atlanta, GA
Carta, J., Mendelsohn, A. & McConnell, S. (10/31/2015). Cultural, Language, and other Familial Risk Factors Affecting Family Engagement . LENA Conference. Denver, CO
Carta, j. & Young, R. (10/31/2015). Delivering Core Instruction in Early Childhood Education Programs and Schools. Annual RTI Innovations Conference. Salt Lake City, UT
Carta, J., Guerrero, G. & McElhattan, T. (09/30/2015). Evidence-Based Language/Early Literacy Intervention for Early Education. Kansas Multi-Tiered System of Supports Symposium. Wichita, KS
Carta, J. (09/30/2015). Strengthening Tier 1 in Early Literacy/Language to Support a Multi-tiered System for Pre-Kindergarten Settings. Kansas Multi-Tiered System of Supports Symposium. Wichita, KS
Carta, J., Walker, D. & Greenwood, C. (04/30/2015). Bridging the Word Gap Research Network: A Federal Initiative to Improve Children's Language Environments. Power-Up: Blueprint for Kansas Early Childhood Conference. Lawrence, KS
Tamis-LeMonda, C., Carta, J. & Mendelsohn, A. (03/31/2015). Poverty-Related Disparities in Children’s Early Language Experiences and Language Development: Prevention, Intervention and Polic. Society for Research in Child Development. Philadelphia, PA
Clarke, B., Sheridan, S., Knoche, L. & Carta, J. (02/01/2015 - 02/28/2015). Preschool language and literacy: Pilot test of a multi-tiered approach. National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention. Orlando, FL
Carta, j. & Abbott, M. (01/31/2015). Universal Practices in MTSS/RtI in Early Education: Using Data-Based Approaches for Improving Tier 1 Practices. Illinois Sharing a Vision Early Childhood Webinar.
Carta, J., Young, R., Greenwood, c. & Hosp, R. (10/31/2014). What Does Tiered Instruction Look Like in Pre-K? RTI Innovations Conference. Salt Lake City, UT
Carta, Judith J., (Co-Investigator), Kansas City Pre-K Landscape Study., Kansas City Pre-K Collaborative, $250,000, . Foundation. Status: Funded.
Buzhardt, Jay, (Principal), Beecher, Constance, (Co-Principal), Carta, Judith, (Co-Principal), Family TIES: A System to Promote Parent-Teacher Engagement and Positive Parent-Child Interactions to Improve School Readiness for At-risk Preschool Children, US Department of Education/Institute for Education Sciences, $1,500,000, Submitted 08/01/2014 (07/01/2015 - 06/30/2018) . Federal. Status: Not Funded.
Buzhardt, Jay, (Co-Principal), Greenwood, Charles, (Co-Principal), Walker, Dale, (Co-Principal), Carta, Judith, (Co-Investigator), Stepping Up Implementation of IGDI Technology to Improve Data-Based Decision Making for Infants and Toddlers with or at-risk for Disabilities, H327140024, Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs, $2,000,000, Submitted 04/01/2014 (07/01/2014 - 06/30/2018) . Federal. Status: Funded.
Boller, KIm, (Principal), Atkins-Burnett, Sally, (Principal), Carta, Judith, (Principal), , Proposal for assessing early childhood teachers’ use of child progress monitoring to individualize teaching practices. , HHSP23320095642WC/HHSP23337041T, Administration for Children and Families/Office of Planning Research and Evaluation, (09/01/2012 - 12/31/2016) . Status: Funded.
Carta, Judith, (Co-Principal), Greenwood, Charles, (Principal), Kansas City Pre-K Landscape Study., Kansas City Pre-K Collaborative, $350,000, Submitted 02/01/2014 (07/01/2014 - 11/30/2016) . Foundation. Status: Funded.
Carta, Judith, (Principal), Greenwood, Charles, Walker, Dale, Bridging the Word Gap Research Network, UA6 MC 27762, Maternal and Child Health Bureau/Health Resources and Services Administration, $600,000, Submitted 07/01/2014 (09/01/2014 - 08/31/2016) . Federal. Status: Funded.
Selected Awards & Honors
Bradley University Centurion Society
- Ph.D., Early Childhood Special Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1983
- M.S., Child Psychology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1974
- B.A., Psychology, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, 1972
Response to intervention in Pre-K, evidence-based practices for young children, risk factors affecting children's development, monitoring progress in young children, and parenting interventions and effects on young children.