Trent Atkins

Mailing Address:

  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I)
  • 32 Campus Drive
  • Missoula, MT 59812


  • Ph.D. - Special Education, University of Oregon,  Multi-method Research
  • M.A. - Applied Behavioral Science, Wright State University, Social Problems, Criminal Justice, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (License Added), Mild Intellectual Disabilities (License added)
  • B.S. - Special Education, Ohio State University,  Learning Disabilities

Professional Organizations

  • CEC
  • AERA

Areas of Specialization

Multi-Method Inquiry

  • Systems Change Issues
  • Teacher Effectiveness
  • Alternative Education

Current Projects

  • Project PASS: Predicting and Achieving School Success. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, this project, in collaboration with Montana schools, prepares student teachers to make data-driven decisions utilizing a response to intervention framework.
  • Project Evaluator on a variety of projects including an tri-national indigenous student exchange program funded by FIPSE and an Arabic language textbook funded by the Department of Education.
  • Dr. Atkins also serves as a national consultant on progress monitoring and taking response-to-intervention (RtI) to scale at the state, district, and school levels
  • External Evaluator Montana’s Response to Intervention Project
  • Research on alternative education schools and programs

Recent Publications

Atkins, T.A. and K.D. Cummings. 2011. "Utility of Oral Reading and Retell Fluency in Predicting Proficiency on the Montana Comprehensive Assessment System." Rural Special Education Quarterly, 3(2): 3-12.

Powell-Smith, K. A., Good, R. H., & Atkins, T. (2010). DIBELS Next Oral Reading FluencyReadability Study (Technical Report No. 7). Eugene, OR: Dynamic Measurement Group.

Atkins, T. & Bartuska, J. (2010). Considerations for Placement of Youth with EBD in Alternative Education Programs. Beyond Behavior, 19,(2), 14-20.

Atkins, T. (2008). Is an alternative school a school of choice? It depends. The Journal of School Choice, 2, 344-347.

Cummings, K., Atkins, T., Allison, R., & Cole, C. (2008). Response to intervention: Investigating the new role of special educators. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40, 24-31.

Atkins, T., Hohnstein, S., & Roche, V. (2008). Perceptions of their new school: Students
with and without disabilities changing to an alternative and charter school. Journal of School Choice, (2), 47-65.

Atkins, T., Bullis, M., & Yovanoff, P. (2007). Wealthy and wise? Comparison of incarcerated youth from different socioeconomic levels. Behavioral Disorders, 32, 254-266.

Atkins, T. & Eilertson, J. (2007).  Predicting success: The effectiveness of Montana reading first. Helena, MT: Office of Public Instruction.      

Unruh, D., Bullis, M., Todis, B., Waintrup, M., & Atkins, T. (2007, January). Programs and practices for special education students in alternative education settings. Research to Practice Brief, 6 (1). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Retrieved February 20, 2007, from:

Atkins, T., Bullis, M. & Todis, B. (2005). Converging and diverging service delivery systems in alternative education programs for disabled and non-disabled youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Journal of Correctional Education, 56, 253-285.

Atkins, T., van den Pol, R., & Schuldberg, D. (2006). Safe Schools Assessment and Resource Bank: A research based system to monitor and enhance school climate and safety. Communiqué, 35, 45-47. 

Bullis, M., Unruh D., Waintrup, M., Todis, B., & Atkins, T. (2004). Alternative Education in Oregon: The Results of Three Surveys. Eugene, Oregon: Institute on the Development of Educational Achievement, University of Oregon;.

Atkins, T. (2003). Two Eagle River and Ronan Reading Acceleration for Content Excellence (TERRACE). Funded Grant Proposal. Missoula, Montana: The University of Montana.

Extracurricular Interests

Loving to learn how to be a papa, song-writing and playing mandolin, guitar, and banjo, building and re-furbishing recreational properties, whitewater sports