Dr. Carta is 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.
Dr. Carta specializes in 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.
Juniper Garden Children's Project- http://jgcp.ku.edu/
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 in Special Education and Applied Behavior Science. 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 4 doctoral and post-doctoral scholars who are carrying out research related to Bridging the Word Gap Research Network and coordinate the mentorship of those 4 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
Selected Awards & Honors
College of Education; Kansas State University
Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards