Jerald (Jay) Thomas, Ed.D.

Jerald ThomasAssociate Professor of Education/Faculty Assessment Coordinator
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Office Location: Institute for Collaboration, Room 223
Telephone: 630-844-6231
Email Address:

I am an educational psychologist with particular interests in understanding the interaction between motivation and learning, particularly among gifted and talented students. My instruction includes courses in research design, assessment, and program evaluation. I currently serve as President of NCSSSMST, a national consortium of 100 secondary schools for students with interest and talent in math/science/technology.  Through NCSSSMST, I have collaborated with colleagues nationwide to create opportunities for middle school students - particularly those from rural, minority, or low-SES backgrounds - to explore science, and I am committed to connecting young, pre-service, and novice teachers to these talented students.

B.A. Psychology - Aurora University
M.S.Ed. Foundations of Education - Northern Illinois University
Ed.D. Educational Psychology - Northern Illinois University

Areas of Specialization
Gifted education
Quantitative research methods

Courses Taught
Educational Psychology
Motivation, Creativity, and the Self
Philosophical Foundations of Education
Advanced Educational Psychology
Adolescent Development and Learning
The Individual, Cognition, and Learning
Quantitative Educational Research I
Educational Reform and Renewal
Principles and Practices of Assessment and Program Evaluation

Highlights of Publications, Honors and Professional Contributions
Musial, D., Thomas, J., & Niemenen, G. (2008). Foundations of meaningful educational assessment. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Thomas, J.A. (2008). Reviving Perry: Epistemological change in gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 52, 1, 87-98.
Atkinson, R., Lundgren, D., Hugo, J., Shapiro, M. & Thomas, J.A. (2007). Addressing the STEM challenge by expanding specialty math and science high schools. NCSSSMMST Journal, 12, 2, 14-23.
Thomas, J.A. (2002) From the Ivy League to the big leagues: A history of sport in America's elite colleges. The National Pastime, 24, 59-65.

Highlights of Campus Involvement
Faculty senate
Chair - University Assessment Committee

Other Interests
Minor league baseball
Reading - baseball-related stuff, P.G. Wodehouse, Thomas Merton, et al.