Natalie Andzik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Special Education


Special and Early Education (SEED)


  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University, Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis
  • BCBA-D, Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • M.A., California State University, Sacramento, Special Education
  • B.A., University of California, Davis, Human Development

Research Interests

Natalie Andzik, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Special and Early Education at Northern Illinois University. Natalie comes to NIU from The Ohio State University where she earned a Ph.D. in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. Her research interest grew from being a special educator in California for eight years. There, she worked with students with mild to profound disabilities and supported teams when making intervention and placement decisions. When making decisions for students, Natalie found that the number one determining factor that decided their future was their ability to independently communicate.

Natalie's research focuses on supporting communication independence among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From her perspective, as a former special education teacher, she believes that teachers, paraeducators, and other school-based practitioners benefit from support when implementing evidence-based practices. Natalie has published numerous articles in special education and applied behavior analysis journals including Exceptional Children and Teaching Exceptional Children.


  • SESE 320/520 - Disability in Film
  • SESE 417 - Positive Behavior Support and Classroom Management for Special Educators
  • SESE 456 - Methods for Collaboration and Inclusion for Elementary Education Teachers
  • SESE 709 - Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis and Research-Based Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • SESE 710 - Behavioral Applications and Consultation in School and Community Settings
  • SESE 692/792 - Seminar: Single Case Research Methodologies for Behavior Analysts

Recent Publications

Walker, V. L., Pennington, R. C., Andzik, N. R., Tapp, M. C., & Werner, A. M. (2022). Pre-service teachers’ preparation in communication instruction for students with extensive support needs. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (RPSD). 47(1), 57–64.

Schaefer, J. M., & Andzik, N. R. (2021).  Evaluating behavioral skills training as an evidence-based practice when training parents to intervene with their children.  Behavior Modification. 45(6), 887–910.

Andzik, N. R., DeSpain, S., N., & Walker, D. A. (2021). The impact of required class notes on post-lecture, in-class quiz scores. The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 32(4), 147–164.

Andzik, N. R., Smith, E., & Neef, N. A. (2021). Using a token economy to treat escape-maintained problem behavior without extinction. Behavior Modification, 46(1), 128–146.

Andzik, N. R., Schaefer, J. M., & Christensen, V. (2021). The effects of teacher delivered behavior skills training on paraeducators use of embedded communication training strategies. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 37(1), 1–13.

Andzik, N. R., & Chung, Y. (2021). Augmentative and alternative communication for adults with complex communication needs: A review of single-case research. Communication Disorders Quarterly.

Andzik, N. R., & Kranak, M. P. (2021). The softer side of supervision: Recommendations when teaching and evaluating behavior-analytic professionalism. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, 21(1), 65–74.

Van Laarhoven, T., Johnson, J., Andzik, N. R., Fernandes, L., Ackerman, D., Wheeler, M., Melody, M., Cornell, V., Ward, G., & Kerfoot, H. (2021). Using wearable biosensor technology for behavioral assessment and interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities who experience anxiety. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 5, 156–169.

Andzik, N. R., & Schaefer, J. M. (2020). Pre-service teacher-delivered behavioral skills training: A pyramidal training approach. Behavioral Interventions, 35(1), 99–113.

Andzik, N. R., Gist, C., Smith, E., & Neef, N. A. (2019). The effects of games on student quiz performance.. Journal of Effective Teaching in Higher Education, 2(1), 109–119.

Andzik, N. R., & Cannella-Malone, H. I. (2019). Practitioner implementation of a communication intervention with students with complex communication needs. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 124(5), 395­­–410. 

Andzik, N. R., Schaefer, J. M., Nichols, R. T., & Cannella-Malone, H. I. (2019). Exploring relationships between teacher training and support strategies for students utilizing AAC. Journal of International Special Needs Education, 22(1), 25–34.


Walker, S. F., & Andzik, N. R. (2021) Assessment and Treatment of Stereotypy Associated with Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices. Submitted to the College of Education Research and Partnership Grant. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. ($5,000) Co-Investigator

Andzik, N. R. (Fall, 2021). Student Engagement Fund, Representation of Disability in Film: Underrepresentation and Misrepresentation. Northern Illinois University, Student Engagement Fund. ($2,700) Principal Investigator.

Andzik, N. R. (2021). Parents as Communication Advocates for Children with Disabilities. Northern Illinois University. ($9,850). Principal investigator.

Kurth, J. A., Zagona, A. L., & Wegner, J. (2020-2025). Inclusive Interdisciplinary Supports and Training for Positive, Rigorous Education and Communication Outcomes. Office of Special Education Programs, Interdisciplinary Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services for Personnel Serving Children with Disabilities who have High-Intensity Needs, (Focus Area B). CFDA 84.325K. ($1,250,000) External Evaluator.

Andzik, N. R., & Koehler, K. (2019). Student Engagement Fund, The Value of the Non-Traditional Teacher Candidate. Northern Illinois University, Student Engagement Fund. ($2,500) Principal Investigator.  

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