Cal State L.A.

Sheri Atwater


Sheri Atwater

Division of Special Education and Counseling

Office: KH 2034
Phone: 323-343-4280
Fax: 323-343-5605


Dr. Atwater joined the faculty of the CSULA's Charter College of Education, School Psychology program in 2003. She is currently the co-Principal Investigator for the Los Angeles County Office of Education's Student Mental Health Initiative, a grant that provides training in suicide prevention and post-vention to pre-service teachers, counselors, and administrators. From 2006-2008, Dr. Atwater served as President of the School Psychology Educators of California (SPEC), a statewide collaborative organization composed of faculty from school psychology programs throughout California. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Multicultural Education in the Charter College of Education at CSULA and on the Editorial Review Board for Scientific Journals International. Since 2001, Dr. Atwater has worked in Oakland, Alameda, Pasadena, Los Angeles and Berkeley Unified School Districts conducting and supervising psychological assessments and individual and group counseling sessions; worked on research and program evaluations with Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International (Washington DC), the Bay Area Consortium for Urban Education (Berkeley, CA), and the Corporation for Research in Educational Networking (Washington, D.C.); and served as supervisor to clinical and psychology interns in Los Angeles area schools. Dr. Atwater is also the creator and Project Director of the SUCCESS Coaching program, a multi-year collaboration (2010-2015) with CSULA and the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she supervises CSLA graduate students as they provide individual clinical services to elementary school students. Her most recent national workshop presentations focus on how educators can foster effective culturally-relevant dialogue in classrooms and schools and avoid the "trap" of color-blind racial ideology. Dr. Atwater received her B.A. from Stanford University and her M.A., P.P.S. Credential, and Ph.D. (School Psychology) from the University of California at Berkeley.



Dr. Atwater teaches graduate courses in the School Psychology program, including courses in applied developmental psychology, individual and group counseling, personality/emotional disturbance and psychological assessment.



Dr. Atwater's research interests focus primarily on the multicultural attitudes, beliefs, and classroom practices of teachers working with diverse learners, specifically the use of the "color-blind" ideology and its effects on students of color. Additionally, Dr. Atwater has focused on identifying ethical practices in the field of school psychology and on suicide prevention and post-vention in K-12 schools.



Title Date
Castro-Atwater, S. (2014) “The Impact of Color-Blind Racial Ideology (CBRI) in K-12 Education.” In Neville, H., Gallardo, M. and Wing Sue, D. What Does it Mean to be Color-Blind?: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact. Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association. 2014
Castro-Atwater, S. A. (2013). “Cultural Characteristics of Mental Health Service Delivery” in Cousins, L., and Golsom, J.G. Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity. New York: Sage Publications. 2013
Castro-Atwater, S. A. (2013). “Establishing a SUCCESS-ful School Counseling Program through University-Community Collaboration”, Journal of Instructional Psychology 40 (1). 2013
Castro-Atwater, S. A. (2013). “Implementing a School-Based Counseling Program: Keys to SUCCESS for a Family-School-Community Partnership” National Social Science Proceedings, vol 51, 41-51. 2013
Castro-Atwater, S. A. (2013). “A Top 10 Ethical Lessons Framework for School Psychologists" 1.5 hours Mini-Skills Workshop Presentation at the annual National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Convention, Seattle, WA, February 13-16th. 2013



Ph.D. Educational Psychology (Cognition and Development) 2003

P.P.S. Credential School Psychology 2002

M.A. Education (Cognition and Development) 1999

A.B. (Bachelor of Arts) Psychology 1996


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