[View Image] School of Education

Kevin Sutherland, Ph.D.

Professor, Counseling and Special EducationKevin Sutherland, Ph.D. [View Image]


  • Ph.D. in special education, Vanderbilt University
  • M.A. in special education, College of William and Mary
  • B.A. in history, Wake Forest University

Research interests

Emotional/behavioral disorders, intervention development, treatment implementation and fidelity

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Career highlights

Recent projects

  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Sustainability of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Increasing School Safety for Urban Low-Income Middle Schools (2015-2019). National Institute of Justice (Award No. 2014-CK-BX-0009, $2,660,933) — Co-investigator (PI – Sullivan, Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • BEST in CLASS-Web (2016-2019). Institute of Education Sciences. Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning Research Grants. (IES grant R324A160158, $1,499,000) — Co-principal investigator (along with Conroy, University of Florida)
  • A Conceptual Replication of BEST in CLASS: An Efficacy Study of BEST in CLASS - Elementary (2018-2022). Institute for Education Sciences. Social and Behavioral Context for Learning Research Grants. (IES grant R305A180182, $3,296,798) — Principal investigator (along with Conroy, University of Florida)
  • Multilevel Determinants of Implementation and Sustainment in the Education Sector (2020-2024). National Institute of Mental Health. (R01 MH124439, $3,122,972) - Multiple Principal Investigators (McLeod & Sutherland)

Recent selected publications

  • Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., McLeod, B.D., Granger, K., Broda, M., & Kunemund, R.L. (2020). A preliminary study of the effects of BEST in CLASS-Elementary on outcomes of elementary students with problem behavior. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300719900318.
  • Granger, K.L., Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., Hetrick, A.A. & Parnell, E. (2020). Barriers and facilitators to implementation of BEST in CLASS. Exceptionality. DOI.org/10.1080/09362835.2020.1727335.
  • Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., McLeod, B.D., Kunemund, R., & McKnight, K. (2019). Common practice elements for improving social, emotional and behavioral outcomes of young elementary school students. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 27, 76-85. DOI.org/10.1177/1063426618784009.
  • Behrhorst, K., Sullivan, T.N., & Sutherland, K.S. (2020). The impact of classroom climate on aggression and victimization in early adolescence. The Journal of Early Adolescence, DOI.org/10.1177/0272431619870616.
  • Van Camp, A.M., Wehby, J.H., Martin, B.L. N., Wright, J.R., Sutherland, K.S. (2020). Increasing opportunities to respond to intensify academic and behavioral interventions: A meta-analysis. School Psychology Review, 49, 31-46. DOI.org/10.1080/2372966X.2020.1717369
  • Nemer, S.L., Sutherland, K.S., Chow, J.C., & Kunemund, R.L. (2019). Identifying dimensions of teacher attributions for challenging student behavior: A systematic literature review. Education and Treatment of Children, 42, 557-578.
  • Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., McLeod, B.D., Granger, K., Nemer, S.L., Kunemund, R.L., Johnson, A., & Miles, C. (2019). Adapting an evidence-based early childhood tier 2 program for early elementary school. Elementary School Journal, 119, 542-561. DOI.org/10.1086/703103.
  • Conroy, M.A., Sutherland, K.S., Algina, J., Ladwig, C., Werch, B., Martinez, J., Jessee, G., & Gyure, M. (2019). Outcomes of the BEST in CLASS intervention on teachers’ use of effective practices, self-efficacy, and classroom quality. School Psychology Review, 48, 31-45. DOI.org/10.17105/SPR-2018-0003.V48-1.
  • Farrell, A.D., Sullivan, T.N., Sutherland, K.S., Corona, R., & Masho, S. (2018). Evaluation of the Olweus Bully Prevention Program in an urban school system in the United States. Prevention Science, 19, 833-847. DOI.org/10.1007/s11121-018-0923-4.
  • Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., McLeod, B.D., Algina, J., & Kunemund, R.L. (2018). Factors associated with teacher delivery of a classroom-based Tier 2 prevention program. Prevention Science, 19, 186-196. DOI.org/10.1007/s11121-017-0832-y.
  • Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., McLeod, B.D., Algina, J., & Wu, E. (2018). Teacher competence of delivery of BEST in CLASS as a mediator of treatment effects. School Mental Health. DOI.org/10.1007/s12310-017-9224-5.
  • Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M.A., Algina, J., Ladwig, C., Jessee, G., & Gyure, M. (2018). Reducing child problem behaviors and improving teacher-child interactions and relationships: A randomized controlled trial of BEST in CLASS. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 31-43. DOI.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.08.001.


Dr. Kevin Sutherland, a professor in the Department of Counseling and Special Education, also serves as director of the department’s doctoral studies program. A former teacher of youth with intensive behavioral and learning needs in both residential and public school settings, Sutherland’s research interests and expertise include efforts to enhance the use and fidelity of implementation of evidence-based programs targeting reductions in chronic problem behavior in school and community settings, community engaged research and adolescent bullying prevention programs.

He has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on federally-funded projects — totaling more than $33 million — that involve the development and evaluation of evidence-based programs in schools, and has created assessment tools to examine teachers’ fidelity to and adequacy of implementing these programs in classrooms.

Curriculum Vitae

(804) 827-2652

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