Mark M. Alter

Professor of Educational Psychology

Phone: 998 5475

Degrees Held

  • B.S. Psychology, Unity College 1969
  • M.S. Special Education/Mental Retardation,Yeshiva University 1973
  • Ph.D. Yeshiva University 1980

Research Interests

  • Special Education: Instructional programming
  • Integration of general and special education practices
  • Shaping special education policy
  • Traditional and alternative factors affecting preparation of teachers
  • Integration of teachers, related disciplines, students and curriculum


Academic Courses

  • IND DISB IN SCH/COMM (E75.2124)
  • INTEG SEM W/SPEC ED II (E75.2508.)
  • Dean's Research Travel Colloquium: Senegal, West Africa (E03.0003)

International Teaching:

  1.  Porto Alegre, Brazil: Summer Study Abroad Program: Teacher Education and Special Education: June 27th – July 5th 2008
  2. Porto Alegre, Brazil:    Summer Study Abroad Program: Culture, Literacy, and Education: June 22- July 1, 2007                                                                             
  3. Hanoi,Vietnam: Fulbright Senior Specialist: University of Hanoi:Topics: Special Education and Teacher Education April 4-22, 2005 
  4. Senegal, Africa:Dean’s Travel Research Colloquium March 12-20, 2005                                                                            
  5. York, England :Summer NYU Program, June 22nd-26th 2002
  6. Oxford, England :Summer NYU Program, July 2001
  7. Athens, Greece: Invited Lecturer,  University of Athens, Special Education in the General  Education Classroom, May 2001
  8. Senegal, Africa: New York University Dean’s Scholars ,January 2001
  9. Athens, Greece:  University of Athens., Invited lectures on the topics of teacher education and classroom instruction. May 1999
  10. Senegal, Africa: NYU School of Education Dean’s Scholars. January, 1999
  11. St Petersburg: Children’s Resource International. Series of lectures to
  12. Higher education faculty from 12 Eastern European Countries.Summer 1997
  13. Budapest: Children’s Resource International. Lecture series to teachers, faculty & higher education leaders from 13 Eastern European Countries. Summer 1996
  14. Puerto Rico: Education of Exceptional Children Severely Retarded Person as a Student and Member of Society. Curriculum for Severely and Profoundly Handicapped  Summer 1982,1983,  
  15.  Singapore: Eight week workshop for the Singapore Association for  Retarded Children. Topic Special Education Program Development & Implementation Summers 1978




  • 2006 : Fulbright Senior Specialist: Vietnam, Hanoi:
  • 2007 : Distinguished Teaching Award: New York University: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
  • 2009 : Flow Foundation appoints global experts to Education Board -

Selected Publications

  • Gottlieb,J, Alter,M. Evaluation of the Over-representation of minority students in special education in the Palm Beach County Schools. An evaluation conducted for: Children’s Services Council Palm Beach County, Florida. Submitted August 31, 2001.
  • Alter, M; Forward, page vii in Inquiries into Teaching, Sobelman, M., Krasnow, M.H. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company: Dubuque, Iowa, 2001
  • Alter, M; Forward, page I in Weaving a Richly Textured Course: The Changing Tapestry fo Inquiries into Teaching and Learning, Sobelman, M., New York University, New York, 1999.
  • Alter,M,; Forward, page iii in Weaving a Richly Textured Course: Developing Inquiries into Teachinga abd Learning, Sobelman, M., New York University, New York, 1996.
  • Gottlieb, J., Alter, M., & Gottlieb, B.W. General Eduction Placement for Special Education Students in Urban Schools, in Inclusion: Integration of Students with Disabilities, Coutiho, M. J., & Repp, A. C. (Eds.) Wadsworth Publishing Company: Belmont, Ca
  • Gottlieb, J. & Alter, M. Evaluation Study of the Impact of Modifying Instructional Group Sizes in Resource Rooms and Related Services Groups in New York City. New York State Education Department, March,1997. (Eric Document Number ED 414-373).
  • Fruchter, N., Berne, R., Marcus, A., Alter, M. & Gottlieb, J., Focus on Learning. A Report on Reorganizing General and Special Education in New York City. Institute for Education and Social Policy. October, 1995.
  • Gottlieb, J. & Alter, M., An Analysis of Referrals, Placement, and Progress of Children with Disabilities who Attend New York City Public Schools. (Report to the New York State Education Department of Overrepresentation of Children of Color Referred to Sp
  • Gottlieb, J., Alter, M., Gottlieb, B., & Wishner, J., Special Education in Urban America: It's Not Justifiable for Many. The Journal of Special Education. Vol. 27, No. 4, 1994, pp. 453-465.
  • Alter, M. (Ed.) Final Report to the New York State Department of Education: Recertification of Elementary and Secondary Programs, 1993.
  • Gottlieb, J., Alter, M., Gottlieb, B., Mainstreaming Academically Handicapped Children in Urban Schools. J. W. Lloyd, A. C. Repp, & N. Singh, (Eds.) Perspectives of Integration of Atypical Learners in Regular Education Settings. Sycamore Books: Sycamore
  • Gottlieb, J., Alter, M., Yoshida, R.K., Final Report of the Consulting Teacher Program. Report submitted to New York State Department of Education, Office for Children with Handicapping Conditions. August, 1990.
  • Alter, M., & Gottlieb, J., Social Skills Curriculum for Mentally Retarded Children.
  • J. Gottlieb (Ed.) Advanced in Special Education (Vol.6), Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1987.
  • Alter, M., & Gottlieb, B., & Gottlieb, J. Dimensions of Educability of the Severely and Profoundly Mentally Retarded. In P.J. Lazarus & S.S. Strichart (Eds.) Psychoeducational Evaluation of School-Aged Children with Low-incidence Handicaps. New York,
  • Alter, M., & Goldstein, M. A Practical Framework for the Systematic Application of Procedures, Planning and Implementation of the Individualized Education Program. Teaching Exceptional Children, Spring 1986.
  • Alter, M. Project Mainstream: Evaluation Report New York City Board of Education, Office of Educational Assessment, 1985.
  • Gottlieb, J. & Alter, M. Social Skills Research Integration Final Report, U.S. Department of Education, Research in Education of the Handicapped. #02-G008101129, 1985.
  • Gottlieb, J. & Alter, M. Social Skills Research Integration Final Report, U.S. Department of Education, Research in Education of the Handicapped. #02-G008101129, 1985.
  • Alter, M & Pradl, G . Where’s the Red Queen?: Ending Three-Card Monte in Teacher Education Education Week May 18, 2011 Vol. 30, Issue 31, Pages 27,32
  •  Alter, M and Gottlieb, J ;Sisyphus & the Problems in Special Education: Education Update: o Volume XVI, No. 2 • New York City • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010
  • Alter,M and Gottlieb,J ; Reform for NYC Special Education: The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules Education Update: Nov/Dec 2012 (link)

Selected Presentations

  • Funded Projects
    1. Project Coordinator: Opportunity Charter School - An Inquiry into Teacher Perceptions of Teaching/Learning Conditions at The Opportunity Charter School Oct. 11, 2011 (Gordon Pradl and Robert Tobias). 2. Applying Mechatronics To Promote Science (AMPS) NSF AWARD NUMBER: DGE-0741714 Polytechnic Institute of New York University: Evaluation Consultant: Evaluation Director Robert Tobias: 2009-2012 3. NYC Partnership for Teacher Education: NYU/CUNY/DOE: Four Year Project – Project Coordinating Committee and Coordinator of NYU Research Committee Jan 2006- 2010. (15,000,000 Project Funded by Petrie Foundation-Principal Investigator Joe McDonald) 4. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Frances Rust) Partnership for Teacher Excellence– Assessment of Learning and Instruction For the Classroom Nov 2006-August 2007 ($!5,000) 5. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Jane Ashdown) New Educator Support Team (approx. $990,000) AOL/Time Warner Foundation September 2002 – August 2004. 6. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Thomas James) Wallerstein Project for Environmental Education (approx. $350,00) September 2000-September 2003 7. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Jay Gottlieb) West Palm Beach Research Project a project to investigate placement of minority children in special education ($25,000) March 2001-August 2001 8. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Ann Marcus) Goldman Sachs Project ($1,000,000) January 2001 – June 2003 9. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Ann Marcus) Starr Foundation Project (approx. 550,000) : Teacher 10. Retention September 2000 – August 2001 11. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Jay Gottlieb) Least Restrictive Environment Initiative. New York City Board of Education, Community School District 2. ($49,700), September, 1999 – June, 2000 12. Principal Investigator Quality Improvement Center for Disabilities. Head Start-Region II, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ($2,700,000), September 1997 – August 2002. 13. Co-Principal Investigator (w/Jay Gottlieb & Irwin Rosenthal) Newark Inclusive Project, Newark Board of Education, ($200,000), Spring 1998 & Spring 1999. 14. Co-Principal Investigator & Co-Director (w/Jay Gottlieb) Evaluation Study of the Impact of Modifying Instructional Group Sizes in Resource Rooms and Related Services Groups in New York City. New York State Education Department, ($74,000), 1996-1997. 15. Co-Principal Investigator/Co-Director (w/Irwin Rosenthal): Special Education Learning Consultant Program. Focus on preparing professionals to work with students who are Seriously Emotionally Disturbed. USDE Grant # HO29N30013, ($363,000), 1994-1998. 16. Co-Principal Investigator/Co-Director (w/Jay Gottlieb): An Evaluation Study of the Overrepresentation of Students of Color Referred for Special Education. New York State Dept. of Educ. ($69,000), Sept. 1993 – Feb. 1994. 17. Principal Investigator and Director - Project F.U.S.E. (Field University School Experience.) NYU Curriculum Challenge Fund Grant ($7,000), 1993. 18. Principal Investigator and Director, - Institute on Social Issues in General and Special Education. NYU Curriculum Challenge Fund Grant, ($16,000), 1990. 19. Principal Investigator and Director - Institute to Train Special Education Secondary Educators. NYU Curriculum Challenge Fund Grant, ($15,000), 1988. 20. Principal Investigator and Director - Institute on Programming in the Community for Severely/Profoundly Handicapped Adults. New York University, Curriculum Challenge Fund Grant, ($4,987), 1985. 21. Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Director - (w/Lisa Fleisher) Training of Special Education Learning Consultants in a 6th year Certificate Program. U.S. Department of Education, Div. Personnel Preparation, ($216,000) 1988-1991. 22. Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Director - (w/Jay Gottlieb) Training of Doctoral Students to be Instructional Planners or Applied Classroom Researchers. U.S. Department of Education, Division of Personnel Preparation, ($324,000), 1983-1986. 23. Principal Investigator and Director, (w/Lisa Fleisher) Summer Institute on Programming in Community Residences for Severely/Profoundly Handicapped Persons. NYU Curriculum Challenge Fund, ($4,876), 1983. 24. Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Director, (w/Jay Gottlieb) Two Training Programs: (1) Special Education Support Consultant. U.S. Department of Education, Division of Personnel Preparation, ($176,000), 1982-1985. 25. Co-Principal Investigator, (w/Jay Gottlieb) Social Skills Training and Research Integration in Special Education. U.S. Department of Education, Research in Education of the Handicapped, ($20,000), 1982-1983. 26. Co-Director, (PI- Martin B. Miller) Develop a Transdisciplinary Individualized Developmental Education Program U.S. Dept. Education, Handicapped Children's Model Demonstration Program for Severely Handicapped Children & Youth, ($300,000), 1979 - 1982..