Lynn Pelco, Ph.D.

Professor, Counseling and Special Education

Lynn Pelco, Ph.D.


  • Post-doc in developmental disabilities, Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. in school psychology, Pennsylvania State University
  • Ed.S. in school psychology, Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S. in elementary education, Pennsylvania State University

Research interests

Service-learning; family, school and community partnerships; university student development

Career highlights

  • Introduced innovative professional training to improve graduate education programs for school psychologists by leading research into how teachers, school psychologists and families work collaboratively to support student success
  • Expanded high-impact experiential educational practices, such as service-learning and living-learning communities, at VCU and other universities after conducting research that found students who participate in these practices demonstrate greater personal and academic success, including higher graduation rates
  • Improved STEM education through the use of high-impact practices, particularly service-learning and community engagement, leading to the production of PK-12 teaching training curriculums and instructional videos for teachers in both English and Mandarin Chinese among other tools

Recent publications

  • Pelco, L. E. & Ball, C. (2018). Identity status, service-learning, and plans for the future. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Education, 22(2), 103-125.
  • Pelco, L. E., Ball, C. T., & Lockeman, K. (2014). Student growth from service-learning: A comparison of first-generation and non-first-generation college students. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18(2), 49-66.
  • Pelco, L. E. (2018). Outstanding Leader in Experiential Education: Higher Education Award. National Society for Experiential Education.
  • Lockeman, K. & Pelco, L. E. (2013). The relationship between service-learning and degree completion. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning. 20(1), 18-30.


Dr. Lynn Pelco has a long academic history in education and psychology. She is the winner of several outstanding teacher awards and is the author of 31 peer-reviewed publications, more than 80 abstracts and conference proceedings, and several curriculum guides. She is an expert on teacher/family relationship dynamics, children with developmental delays and ethical problem-solving, with her most recent focus being on service-learning and community engagement at all levels of education.

As the associate vice provost for the Division of Community Engagement at VCU, she is responsible for the coordination of all service-learning activities, including professional development for adult learners.

Curriculum Vitae

(804) 827-8215