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Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Sandra Arnold, PT, PhD

  • Professor
  • Director, Lee Mitchener Tolbert Center
  • Director, Doctor of Science (DSc) Program

(405) 271-2131 Ext. 47118


  • Ph.D., Allied Health Sciences, Interdisciplinary Leadership, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 2003
  • M.Ed., Special Education, Infant Education, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, 1988
  • B.S., Physical Therapy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 1985

Societies and Organizations:

APTA,  Member

Member, Alpha Eta Honor Society


Professional Program:

  • PHTH 8254 Neuro Rehabilitation for Children
  • BMSC 5103, 5113 LEND Interdisciplinary Leadership Issues I & II
  • PHTH 7990/OCTH 7990 Seminar-Knowledge Translation & Dissemination
  • OCTH 8154/PHTH 8154 Neuro Rehabilitation for Children
  • OCTH/PHTH 7990 Special Studies in Pediatrics, Pediatric Selective
  • OCTH/PHTH 7990 Special Studies, Cultural Competence, and Families
  • OCTH/PHTH 9391 Clinical Reasoning in Rehab Sciences
  • PHTH/OCTH 8171/7171 Professional Lit Development
  • PHTH 7812 Clinical Reasoning II
  • PHTH 7712 Clinical Reasoning I

Postprofessional Program:

  • RS 5990 Seminar-Knowledge Translation & Dissemination – Web-based
  • RS 5970 Mentorship Capstone
  • RS 5443 Educational Contexts – Web-based 
  • RS 5950 Leadership Practicum – Web-based
  • RS 8430 Doctoral Thesis – Web-based
  • RS 5960 Community Assessment and Analysis
  • RS 5443 Early Intervention and School-Based Practice (3 credits) – Web-based
  • RS 5443 Teamwork in the Public Schools - Web-based
  • RS 5960 Directed Readings  - Web-based
  • RS 5990 Special Studies - Web-based

Research Interests:


  • 2019-2024 Expanding Beyond Inclusion: Participation of Children with High Intensity Needs in School Settings, Arnold, S.H. – Principal Investigator/Project Director (2021-current); Project Co-Director (2019-2021), Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education, ($1,249,965)
  • 2018-2019  PRESTIGE: Providing Exemplary Student Interdisciplinary graduate Education, Arnold, S.H. – Principal Investigator, Interprofessional Educators and Practitioners Association Interprofessional Seed Grant ($4000).
  • 2016-2020 Validating the School Outcomes Measure (SOM): An Outcomes Measure for Students who Receive School-based Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, Arnold, S.H. - Project Director, Special Education Research Grants- Measurement, Institute of Education Sciences, ($ 1,599,988).
  • 2014-2015 Exploring Mechanisms that Support Health in the Community Surrounding the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Arnold, S.H. - Principal Investigator, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Research Grant, OUHSC ($ 3000)
  • 2012-2016 Web-based Preparation of Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists to Provide Early Intervention and Related Services, Arnold, S.H. - Co-Director, Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education, ($ 1,249,965)
  • 2010-1011   Community of Practice for Pediatric Physical Therapists and  Occupational Therapists, (Principal Investigator), Oklahoma Physical Therapy Foundation Education Grant, ($1000).
  • 2010-2011   Partnering to Understand: An Investigation of Health Disparity in the Communities Surrounding University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), (Co-Director), University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Community Medicine Seed Grant, ($11,517).
  • 2008-2009   Pediatric Physical Therapy for Young Children with Cerebral Palsy: Current Interventions and Suggestions about Effectiveness for Gross Motor and Self Care Activity (Assumed Principal Investigator following original PI’s professional relocation), Presbyterian Health Foundation Seed Grant, ($23,829), 1 year no-cost extension (2009-2010).     
  • 2007-2011   Preparation of Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists for Service Provision in Early Intervention and Related Services (Project Director & Project Physical Therapy Director), US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services, ($784,729).
  • 2006-2007   Construct Validation of School Outcomes Measure (Principal Investigator), Presbyterian Health Foundation Seed Grant, ($23,829), 1 year no-cost extension (2007-2008).
  • 2003-2005   Enhancing Pre-service Training for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Students (Principal Investigator), Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services, ($110,305).
  • 2002-2006   Preparation of Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists to Provide Early Intervention and Related Services for Children with Low Incidence Disabilities, (Project Coordinator), Personnel Preparation Grant  from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, ($1,482,780), 1 year no-cost extension (2006-07).
  • 1999- 2000    Preliminary Reliability and Validity of a Minimal Data Set to Measure Outcomes of School-Based Occupational and Physical Therapy, (Research Assistant), Presbyterian Health Foundation seed grant, ($27,188).

Clinical Interests:

  • Pediatrics
  • School-based services for students with disabilities
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Community Health Research
  • Childhood and adolescent obesity as it relates to the environment, physical activity, and family attitudes and beliefs

Select Publications:

  • Klug, K.B., Kolobe, T.H.A., James, S.A., & Arnold, S.H. (2020). Concurrent Validity of the School Outcomes Measure and the School Function Assessment in Elementary Students. Pediatric Physical Therapy,32 (3), 180-88. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000710
  • Clevenger, V., Jeffries, L., Effgen, S., Chen, S., & Arnold, S.H. (2020), School-based physical therapy services: Predicting the gap between ideal and actual embedded services. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 32(2), 98-105. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000683   *Journal Feature Article ** Awarded APTA APPT Jean Hughes Award
  • Neal, G., Effgen, S.K. Arnold, S.H., Baldwin, J. & Jeffries, L.M. (2019). Description of school-based physical therapy services and outcomes for students with Down syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  • Kracht, C.L., Sisson, S.B., Guseman, E.H., Hubbs-Tait, L., Arnold, S.H., Graef, J. & Knehans, A. (2018). Difference in objectively measured physical activity and obesity in children with and without siblings. Pediatric Exercise Science. doi: 10.1123/pes.2018-0184
  • Woods SG, Knehans A, Arnold S, Dionne C, Hoffman L, Turner P, Baldwin J. (2018).The associations between diet and physical activity with body composition and walking a timed distance in adults with Prader-Willi syndrome.  Food and Nutrition Research 62,1343-1353.
  • Sisson, S.B., Li, J., Stoner, J.A., Lora, K.R., Campbell, J.E., Arnold, S.H., DeGrace, B. Horm, D., & Stephens, L. (2016). Obesogenic Environments in Tribally Affiliated Child Care Centers and Corresponding Obesity in Preschool Children. Preventative Medicine
  • Sisson, S.B., Stephens, L., Campbell, J.E., Lora, K.R., Arnold, S., Horm, D., Li, J., Stoner, J., DeGrace, B. Influence of Child Care Center Environment on Obesogenic Behaviors in Young Children. Anticipated journal of submission: TDB in preparation.
  • Yaroslawitz, S. L., DeGrace,  B.W., Sloop, J., Arnold,  S., Hamilton,  T. B. (2015). A study of family health in Chareidi second and third generation survivors of the Holocaust. Work,50(3), 501-10. doi: 10.3233/WOR-141961.     
  • Deville, C., McEwen, I.R., Arnold, S.H. (2015) Knowledge Translation of the Gross Motor Function Classification System among Pediatric Physical Therapists Pediatric Physical Therapy, accepted for publication
  • Wilson, R.A..A.., Kolobe,.T.H.A., Arnold, S. H., &  McEwen, I.R (2015). Concurrent Validity of the School Outcomes Measure (SOM) and Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) in Preschool Aged Children. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 35(1), 40-53.
  • DeGrace, B., Ramey, E.S., Smith, S., Richardson, S., Arnold, S., Sisson, S.B. The Family Meal: The Influences on Family Mealtime Participation. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research in press.
  • Nesbit, K.C., Kolobe, T.A., Arnold, S. H., Sisson, S.B., & Anderson, M.P.(2014). Proximal and Distal Environmental Correlates of Adolescent Obesity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(5).       
  • Arevalo, A., Kolobe, T.H.A., Arnold, S., DeGrace, B. (2014). Early Childrearing Practices and their Relationship to Academic Performance in Mexican American Children. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 26(2), 214-222.
  • Bailey, K.C., DeGrace, B. W., Arnold, S. H. (Spring, 2014). Partnering to Understand: An Investigation of Health Disparity in the Communities Surrounding a University Health Sciences Center. Journal of Allied Health 43(1), 3-11.
  • Arnold, S. H., Kolobe, T.H.A., Thompson, D.M., Boeckman,L. (2013). Assessing the Discriminative Ability and Internal Consistency of the School Outcomes Measure ISRN Rehabilitation, Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 607416, 8 Pages,