Texas Tech University

Robin H. Lock, Ph.D.

Special Education

Email: robin.lock@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-3976

Robin H. Lock, Ph.D. is a full professor in the Special Education program at Texas Tech University.  She has served as Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research, Vice Dean, Acting Dean, and Interim Dean for the College of Education at TTU.

Building external partnerships, including the establishment of The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, have led Dr. Lock to truly value collaboration.   Dr. Lock's current research interests revolve around postsecondary educational opportunities for students with disabilities including students with Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as those being served in the foster care system.  The integration of teaching, research, and service has been a cornerstone of her academic career.

Dr. Lock diligently contributions to the Special Education program through teaching both organized and unorganized courses.  During the course of her administrative appointment, she has consistently taught graduate courses and earned course evaluations above the mean for the College.  Dr. Lock views the art of teaching as a critical component of an academic endeavor and strives to utilize both her expertise and her research activities to inform her teaching.

Authoring over 58 publications, including a book, “Assessing Students with Special Needs to Produce Quality Outcomes”, Dr. Lock has consistently worked to include doctoral students in her research and writing.  She utilizes her own writing development to support students in enhancing their academic scholarship and continues to engage students even as she serves the College as an administrator.

Over the years, Dr. Lock has garnered over $5 million in external funding – including private donations, foundation grants, state grants and federal funding – for work focused on the improvement of individual lives and community engagement initiatives.

After Dean Scott Ridley's passing in October 2018, she directed the final year of the East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN), a multi-institutional community engagement project to provide East Lubbock residents a continuum of “cradle to career” support, including educational programs, family and community services and school transformation. The project was funded by a $25 million U.S. Department of Education grant, the largest grant in Texas Tech University history.  For its work with East Lubbock, Texas Tech University was recently named one of four regional winners of the 2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

Dr. Lock has been at Texas Tech since 1996. She previously served as co-founder and co- director of the Burkhart Center, which provides services and community outreach to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Additionally, Dr. Lock worked as program coordinator, graduate advisor, and both the undergraduate and graduate advisor for Special Education program.  Finally, Dr. Lock has chaired numerous committees and councils both in the College and for the University.

Robin Lock


  • Ph.D.,1985 The University of Texas at Austin- Learning Disabilities
  • M.Ed.,1981 The University of Texas at Austin- Special Education
  • B. S.,1976 The University of Texas at Austin- Elementary Education and Mental Retardation

Areas of Expertise

  • Transition to adulthood for individuals with disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual, and learning disabilities,
  • Family issues in dealing with disabilities including autism spectrum disorders
  • Educator preparation for children with disabilities including the area of learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, emotional and behavior disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. 

Selected Publications

Gaines, K., Curry, Z., Shroyer, J., Amor, C., and Lock, R.H. (2014).  The perceived effects of classroom design and features on students with autism spectrum disorders.  Journal of Architectural Planning and Research, 31(4).

Lock, R.H., Hendricks, C.B., & Finstein, R. (2013).  Evaluating the success of a parent-professional autism network: Implications for family counselors.  The Family Journal, 21(3), p. 288-296.

Lock, R.H., Brown, D., Brendle, J., and Chestnut Lam, Pik Wah (2013).  Combining positive behavior supports and social skill programming for transition success.  Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Journal, 9(1), p. 13-29.

Dogoe, B.S., Banda, D.R., Lock, R.H., & Finstein, R. (2011). Teaching generalized reading of product warning labels to young adults with autism using the constant time delay procedure. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 46, p. 204-213.

Bradley, L., Hendricks, C.B., & Lock, R.H., Whiting, P., Parr, G. (2011).  Email issues for mental health counselors.  Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 33(1), p. 67-79.  

Lock, R.H., Hendricks, C.B., Bradley, L.J., & Layton, C.A. (2010).  Using family leisure activities to support families living with autism spectrum disorders.  The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 49(2), p. 163-180.

Dogoe, B.S., Banda, D.R., & Lock, R.H. (2010).  Acquisition and generalization of the picture exchange communication system behaviors across settings, persons, and stimulus classes with three students with autism.  Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 45, p. 216‑229.

Lock, R.H., & Finstein, R. (2009).  Examining the need for autism sibling support groups in rural areas.  Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28(4), p. 21-30. 

Lock, R.H., & Layton, C.A. (2008).  The impact of tutoring attendance on the GPAs of postsecondary students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 15(2), p. 55-60.


Dr. Lock maintains an active service agenda including:

  • State of Texas Special Education Continuing Advisory Council, appointed by the Governor of Texas
  • Special Education Information Center (SpedTex) State Advisory Board
  • Learning Outcomes Project Education (EDUC/TECA) faculty workgroup for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Editorial review boards for Intervention in School and Clinic, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, and the National Academic Advising Association