Dr. Angela Vaughan

Founder & Director

Angela Vaughan holds a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.  She is the Faculty Director of the University 101 program at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley.  She began her 20+ year career as an educator as a United States Air Force Officer. From there, she has taught and developed curriculum at the high school, community college and university levels. In her present position, she focuses on undergraduate student success as well as helping current and future faculty develop their practice and become more effective.  Angela has delivered many campus workshops and conference presentations and has authored numerous articles on student learning, success and retention and effective teaching.  Her textbook, Educational Psychology for Learners: Connecting Theory, Research and Application (2nd Ed.), provides the basis for academically rigorous first-year seminars.  She has served as a member of editorial review boards for college student success journals including the Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and currently, for the Journal of College Students Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.




“Everything, models of instruction and ideas that were given and the book, the binder. I've used pieces from that. [It’s] little bits of everything that was modeled… [I’m] not saying I use it all exactly, but everything that was presented, I've used pieces of it. Styles of teaching, materials, direct activities.”

Fall 2019 FYS Instructor

We are very pleased with the initial responses from our students and faculty who used your textbook as the foundation of their learning experiences in MUS 121 (The Academic Life) last semester. In particular, the poster nights fostered a sense among the students that they “belong” within an academic community. Also, providing these students with multiple opportunities to read and digest college-level writing from the outset of the course was a powerful way for many of them to recognize and own their individual capacities for success in college.

Jan 2020 Chadron State College

Angela has been the most influential professor that I have had thus far in my 3 years at [university]. She was brilliant, and I learned so much about being an educator just by watching her teaching style, while also learning the content of the class. She has too many strengths to name, but the one that stands out most to me was her ability to trick me into learning. I found that I spent less time writing down notes, and more time focusing on interacting with the material and elaborating on it so that it stuck. I also felt that she provided every student with equal opportunities to learn through experiences and leading classes.

Spring 2019 Secondary Education Student

Professional FYS Experience

Faculty Director, University 101 Program

Associate Professor (tenured), Curriculum and Instruction

Graduate Faculty and Affiliate Psychology Faculty
Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

Provide the overall leadership, administration, and management for the university’s first year programs designed to increase student academic engagement, success, and retention and support holistic student development that bridges their experiences between academic and student affairs.  This includes a 3-credit full semester academic first-year seminar (FYS), an embedded peer mentor program, and summer support program for entering students.  Responsible for the research, development, implementation, and evaluation of the recruitment, enrollment, curriculum and delivery functions of the programs. Manage and administer program budgets. Recruit, hire, train and evaluate program instructors and staff, which includes graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Conducted comprehensive program evaluation that led to the redesign of recruitment, marketing and enrollment processes as well as course design, content, and delivery of the programs.

    • Every fall semester, the program typically serves 50% first-generation students and 45% students of color.

    • Program includes sections and curriculum specifically for the TRIO/SSS (Center for Human Enrichment) program, Honors students, Business majors, Psychology majors (including online majors; primarily nontraditional students), Natural and Health Science majors and undeclared students. GOAL (Go On and Learn) students, who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, are also required to enroll.

  • Consistently, the programs and curriculum have resulted in significant effects on student achievement and persistence. Greatest differences continue to occur for at-risk undergraduate student populations.

    • Four-year persistence rates (using matched control groups) include a 19% difference for first-generation students, a 21% difference for students of color, and 14% difference for all students.

    • Graduation rates are as much as 20% higher for our most at-risk student populations (conditionally admitted, high school GPA < 3.0, first-generation students).

  • Based on national trends and our campus needs, developed all aspects (recruiting, training, personnel evaluation, curriculum, and program assessment) of comprehensive peer mentoring program. This includes active participation and attendance in courses as well as planning campus events throughout the semester. Developed partnerships with athletics, performance and visual arts, and community engagement. Continuous assessment and refinement have led to full program implementation. Recent analysis (matched control groups) shows significant student outcomes in retention (as high as 13% difference in spring persistence) and first-term GPA (as high as .5 points) for all students including those who identify as first generation and students of color.

  • Due to the constraints and realities of the Covid pandemic beginning in 2020, developed summer support program to engage and connect students to the university early and throughout the summer. Evaluation of the pilot program in 2020 has resulted in refinements to the summer 2021 delivery, which includes campus events, Zoom hangouts, and other content to help prepare students for the fall semester and build community. Initial analysis shows significant differences in early perceived belongingness, self-efficacy and increased student first-term GPAs for those who participate.

  • Established and maintain long-standing partnerships with Center for Career Readiness, Library, Disability Resource Center, Psychological Services Clinic, SOAR, New Student Orientation and Dean of Students Office to develop and deliver curriculum, recruit and encourage student participation, and provide wide-ranging outreach.

  • Responsible for ongoing program evaluation and research.  Sophisticated analyses include mixed-methods, quantitative, and qualitative methodologies. Mentor and partner with undergraduate and graduate students on all research processes including research design, IRB processes, data collection, analysis, manuscript preparation, and conference presentations. Serve on dissertation committees. Helped develop Developing Scholars program for UNC’s Spring Research Day.

  • Design and deliver comprehensive 50-hour summer and semester 2-hour weekly instructor training that includes topics such as learning outcomes, lesson planning, and assessment, student engagement, inclusiveness, and effective classroom management.

  • Maintain relationships and communications with offices and groups across campus such as Admissions, Registrar, New Student Orientation, Center for International Education, leadership councils, and faculty committees.

  • Serve on university committees to support strategic planning, Covid response (Reentry Task Force, Vaccination and Mask policies, and Covid Responsiveness Group), and selection of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Dean (member and Chair).

  • Serve on Faculty Senate and Chair the Academic Policies Committee.

    • Recently, provided voice and assistance to support students, faculty and staff in specific accommodations and policies related to Covid.

    • Continue to lead efforts to effectively impact academic policies across the university as chair.

  • Invited regularly to speak at graduate student and teacher conferences on topics such as inclusiveness, setting expectations, student-centered pedagogy, assessment, student engagement and motivation, and classroom management.

    • Invited to develop graduate student instructional videos on effective teaching.

  • Developed first, online asynchronous first-year seminar course for online-only, transfer psychology majors.

  • Teach undergraduate educational psychology course for secondary teacher education majors.


Curious how Angela can support your program? 

Email us for more information! 

(970) 616-4014

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