Veronica Smith, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept


Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept
(780) 492-7425
6-107A Education Centre - North
8730 - 112 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5



My research interests focus on child development, the examination of interventions that support young children with developmental disabilities, and the deployment of evidence-based educational practices for children into the everyday home, school, and community contexts.

Prior to my doctoral work, I practiced as a clinical Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) in public school, preschool, and hospital settings in Alberta and British Columbia. As an SLP, I was extensively involved in the assessment, individual program planning, direct intervention, and team problem solving for students with special needs from preschool age to late adolescence. These early career experiences piqued my interest in intervention science, prompting questions about the gaps between the evidence-based practices and the realities of implementing these practices in community settings. Upon entering my doctoral program in 2004, it became clear to me that the gaps between science and practice are widely lamented, not only by the professional community but by developmental scientists and policymakers alike. Early on, it appeared to me that there are two main sources of translational disconnect: 1) in the professional community, there is uncertainty about which evidence-based developmentally appropriate practices are best, and 2) in the research community, there is uncertainty about how to go about implementing evidence-based practices in community settings.
Informed by these gaps, my program of research has proceeded along with a number of interrelated lines of inquiry. In general, I have turned my attention to developing methodological expertise in systematically reviewing the research of effective interventions and have published research aimed at synthesizing what is known about effective interventions for children with autism. On a parallel but more applied line of inquiry, I have undertaken research exploring the conditions that influence the delivery of effective programs/interventions in school and community settings. In this regard, I have been deliberate in acquiring a range of skills in program evaluation and community-based research. 

In all cases, my research is community-engaged and knowledge translation oriented. 


EDHS 505 - Program Evaluation

Priority given to graduate students in the Master of Education in Health Sciences Education program. This course provides an overview of the foundational principles, methods, ethics, and standards that underpin evaluation. These principles will be considered within the various contexts of health sciences education. Sections are offered at an increased rate of fee assessment.

Browse more courses taught by Veronica Smith

Scholarly Activities

Research - Parent and Child Early (PACE) Coaching Project

2017 to 2020

I am co-investigator on a large research project that was funded by the British Columbia Ministry of Child and Family Development. The aim of the project is to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To this end, we have partnered with early interventionists in 14 communities in BC to achieve the following aims: 

1. To establish an authentic community of practice for parent coaching in each and across the participating communities;

2. To identify best/promising practices that will optimize future implementation of the parent coaching model in diverse settings;

3. To train early interventionists to coach parents of at-risk children to use strategies that will facilitate optimal development with fidelity in home and community settings;

4. To examine the effectiveness of the parent coaching model by conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT); and

5. To conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis that compares parent coaching to services that are ordinarily available to toddlers at risk for ASD in BC.

As co-investigator, my primary role in the project is objective #2, to identify the promising practices that will optimize future implementation of the service across the province. 

Featured Publications

Can an Infant be a Catalyst for Change? Considering Context and Process in the Evaluation of the “Roots of Empathy” Program

Schonert-Reichl, K., Smith, V., & Zaidman-Zait, A.

2005 January;

Smith, V., Zaidman-Zait, A., & Mirenda, P.

2005 January;

Smith, V., & Bopp, K.

2005 January;

Smith, V., & Siegel, L.

2005 January;

Smith, V., & Zaidman-Zait, A.

2004 January;