Meet our faculty

Peter Alter  |  Interests  |  Scholarship  


Teaching Experience:

  • Teacher- Self-Contained Emotionally/ Behaviorally Disorders - Clay and Duval County School Board (August 01, 1997 - June 01, 2003)


  • Carl Fenichel Memorial Research Award - Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (May 2006)
    National award from the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders division of the Council for Exceptional Children for the outstanding dissertation in the area of emotional or behavioral disorders.


  • Nominee- Faculty Favorite - University of Louisville (2008)
    Nominated as a Faculty Favorite for academic years from 2008-2010


Selected Presentations

  • Challenging behavior and teacher job satisfaction: Magnitude and prevalence as critical factors.. Alter, Peter (talk, speech or lecture)
    34th Annual Teacher Educators of Children with Behavior Disorders on Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth.

    To date little research has determined what specific challenging behaviors are correlated with reduced teacher job satisfaction. Previous research (presented at TECBD 2010) indicated, through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), that specific categories of challenging behavior and their relationships to teacher job satisfaction could be grouped according to two variables [high/ low prevalence and high/ low magnitude]. Based on this research, additional survey data from over 300 teachers in 2 states was collected to determine the relationships and impact of behaviors that occur frequently but are low magnitude (e.g. talking out, non-compliance) versus high magnitude, low frequency behaviors so-called behavioral earthquakes (e.g. physical aggression, destruction of property). Their effect on teacher job satisfaction and the impact of other teacher variables including gender, grade level and years of experience were also investigated. Results and implications for teachers and teacher educators will be presented.
    (October 29, 2011)
  • Teacher training to improve students with EBD performance on math word problems. Alter, Peter (talk, speech or lecture, primary presenter)
    Teacher Educators of Children with Behavior Disorders
    (October 2010)
  • Addressing Challenging Behaviors Across the Continuum. Alter, Peter (talk, speech or lecture, primary presenter)
    Midwest Symposium on Leadership for Behavior Disorders
    (March 2009)
  • Developing Math Fluency in Students with Challenging Behavior. Alter, Peter (paper, primary presenter)
    6th International Conference on Positive Behavior Support
    (March 2009)


  • Alter, Peter. (2012). Helping students with emotional and behavioral disorders solve mathematics word problems. Preventing School Failure, Vol. 56 (1), 55-64.
  • Alter, Peter, Brown, Elizabeth Todd & Pyle, Jeff G. (2011). A strategy-based intervention to improve math problem solving skills of students with emotional and behavioral disorders,. Education and Treatment of Children, Vol. 34(4), 535-550.
  • Scott, Terry M, Anderson, Cyndi & Alter, Peter Jay. (2011). Managing Classroom Behavior Using Positive Behavior Support. New York: Pearson Prentice Hall
  • Scott, Terry M, Alter, Peter J & Servilo, K. (2010). Functional behavior assessment: Scaling down to scale up. Intervention in School and Clinic, Vol. 46, Iss. 2, 87-94.
Maps & Directories

Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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