Susan O'Hara

Susan O'Hara

Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education

Office: 220 Eureka Hall
Office Phone: (916) 278-4616

Background Information

Dr. Susan O’Hara is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at California State University, Sacramento. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a PhD in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Dr. O’Hara has strong expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies as well as in program evaluation. She has served as a statistical consultant and evaluation specialist for the Center for Research in Education, Excellence and Diversity (CREDE), Project WRITE, funded by the Texaco foundation, and the Return of the Salmon Project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. Each of these research projects included a professional development component for K-12 teachers. Dr. O’Hara has served as co-principal investigator on three grants: Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers for Technology (PT 3), a three year U.S. Department of Education grant; Intel Teach to the Future for Teacher Preparation; and a grant funded by the Linguistic Minority Research Institute (LMRI) that focused on hypermedia authoring and science vocabulary development. Dr. O’Hara has pursued research on effective professional development models, which incorporate the perspectives of teachers, as vehicles for putting best technology practices into schools and universities. Her research has also investigated effective ways to provide a challenging and meaningful science and math curriculum to linguistically and culturally diverse populations.

Research Interests

Professional development models; instructional technology; English language learners; mathematics and science learning; academic vocabulary.


  • O’Hara, S. & Pritchard, R. (2008). Hypermedia authoring as a vehicle for vocabulary development in middle school English as a second language classrooms. The Clearing House.

  • O’Hara, S., & Pritchard, R.H. (2008). Using hypermedia to teach vocabulary in grades 6-12. Columbus, OH: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

  • Pritchard, R.H., & O’Hara, S. (2008). Reading in Spanish and English: A comparative study of processing strategies. The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

  • O’Hara, S., & Pritchard, R.H. (2008). Meeting the challenge of diversity: Professional development for teacher educators. Teacher Education Quarterly.