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Welcome to the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, & Special Education

Department faculty develop ideas, lead research and train teacher candidates to respond to the complex context of schools in California. The department provides the foundation for graduates in early childhood, special education, bilingual instruction, reading/language arts, and teacher education. Our goal is to provide a foundation for our students to become leaders in education and highly skilled professionals. We hope you find that our faculty are committed to providing quality instruction for you to become a leader at your site and in education as a whole.

Department Overview

The department offers the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential in both Early Childhood Education and Bilingual Spanish and Hmong Authorized program (formerly Bilingual/Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development-BCLAD). At the graduate level, the department offers programs in Early Childhood Education, Reading/Language Arts, and Multilingual Multicultural Education.

Our Special Education program offers the Preliminary Level I (including an Internship Program) and Professional Level II Education Specialist Credentials in Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe Disabilities, and a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Special Education. We also offer a Dual Certification Program with provides for earning both the Preliminary Level I Education Specialist Credential along with the Multiple Subjects basic teaching credential. Our programs are innovative, NCATE accredited and promote excellence in the special education field.

Credential Programs
Basic Teaching Credentials

The basic Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may be earned in conjunction with a baccalaureate degree (preliminary credential) or following completion of fifth year of professional preparation in the following areas:

Multiple Subject Credential -- Early Childhood Education
Specialist Teaching Credential

The specialist teaching credential represents a year of post-baccalaureate study in an area of teaching specialization. The specialist credential may be earned by a holder of a Multiple Subject or Single Subject Credential. The Department of Literacy and Early Education offers specialist credentials in early childhood education and reading/language arts.

Master's Degree Programs

The Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education offers advanced and specialized study for the Master of Arts degree in Education with options in early childhood education and in reading/language arts. Completion of a master's degree signifies that the holder is prepared to provide professional leadership in an area of specialization offered by the department. Most candidates for the master's degree have three or more years of successful teaching experience.

Master of Arts in Special Education

The Master of Arts Degree in Special Education offers advanced preparation in mild/moderate disabilities and moderate/severe disabilities, and is closely related to course requirements for the Professional Level II Education Specialist Credential program. It is expected that students seeking admission to the Master of Arts Degree in Special Education will possess a substantial entry level background in special education, such as having made significant progress toward completion of the Preliminary Level I Education Specialist Credential program in mild/moderate or moderate/severe disabilities.

Department Chair and Staff

Susan Tracz
Interim Chair, Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education (LEBSE)
Office: Education Building, Rm 250
Phone: 559.278.0347

Joanne Ramirez
Administrative Support Coordinator
Office: Education Building, Rm 250
Phone: 559.278.0278

Department Faculty

Abramson, Shareen

Shareen Abramson
Office: Education Building, Rm 436
Phone: 559.278.1230

Alamillo, Laura

Laura Alamillo
Office: Education Building, Rm 250
Phone: 559.278.0280
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Areas of Expertise:
Bilingual Education Methods, Theory and Pedagogy
The Education of Emergent Bilingual Children
English Language Development, Qualitative Research Methods, Ethnographic Methods

Basurto, Imelda: Coordinator, Reading Graduate Program

Imelda Basurto

Office: Education Building, Rm263
Phone: 559.278.0285

Bennett, Lisa: Coordinator, Multiple Subject Credential Program

Dr. Lisa Bennett

Office: Education Building, Rm 265
Phone: 559.278.0243
Ph.D. Education
M.A. Education
Multiple Subject Credential
B.A. Humanities

Areas of Expertise:
Literacy, Inquiry/Action Research, Reflective Practice, Qualitative Research Methods

Billen, Monica: Coordinator, Early Childhood Education Graduate Program

 Monica Billen
Office: Education Building, Rm 259
Phone: 559.278.0267

Ph.D. in Education, emphasis in Literacy Studies
M.A. in Teacher Education
B.S. in Elementary Education

Areas of Expertise:
Early literacy, literacy teaching, reading and writing instruction, teacher preparation, pre-service teacher development, teacher reflection, technology and social media in teacher preparation, photographic reflections, qualitative research methodologies, photo analysis

Chen, Feiyan

Feiyan Chen
Office: Education Building, Rm 267
Phone: 559.278.0222

Doctor of Philosophy (Early Childhood Education)
Master of Education (Early Childhood)
Bachelor of Arts
Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood)

Areas of Expertise:
Early childhood education and development
Social-emotional development
Cultural-historical theory
Visual methodology

Coy, Kimberly: Coordinator, Special Education Graduate Program

Kimberly Coy
Office: Education Building, Rm 357
Phone: 559.278.0724

B.A. University of Washington
M.A.T. Goucher College
Ph. D. Washington State University

Areas of Expertise:
Special Education, Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Universal Design for Learning, Research into Online or Digital Learning

Garnett, William

William Garnett
Office: Education Building, Rm 341
Phone: 559.278.0448

Goff, Maria Hernandez

Dr. Maria Hernandez Goff
Office: Education Building, Rm 347
Phone: 559.278.0327

Hart, Steve

Steve Hart
Office: Education Building, Rm247
Phone: 559.278.0319

BS Elementary Education, Kutztown University, Pennsylvania
MA Reading, Language & Literacy Development, College of William & Mary, Virginia
PhD Reading Education, University of South Florida

Areas of Expertise:
Adolescent Literacy
Critical Literacy
Service-Learning Pedagogy

Herrera, Luz

Dr. Luz Herrera
Office: Education Building, Rm 249
Phone: 559.278.0019

Horsley, Heather

Dr. Heather Horsley
Office: Education Building, Rm 353
Phone: 559.278.0119

Huerta, Teresa: Coordinator, Multilingual Multicultural Education Graduate Program

Teresa Huerta
Office: Education Building, Rm253
Phone: 559.278.0364
Curriculum Vita

Juarez, Sara Werner

Sara Werner Juarez
Office: Education Building, Rm 339
Phone: 559.278.0307

PhD in Education, with an emphasis in Special Education
MS in Special Education
Level II Credential, Moderate/Severe
BA in Behavioral Science

Areas of Expertise:
Methods in teacher preparation
Implementing evidence-based practices for students with moderate/severe disabilities
Evidence-based classroom and behavior management
Differentiated instruction

Lopez, Ana Soltero

Dr. Ana Soltero Lopez
Office: Education Building, Rm 431
Phone: 559.278.0282

Low, David

David Low
Office: Education Building, Rm 269
Phone: 559.278.0208

PhD, University of Pennsylvania
MA, New York University
BA, University of Arizona

Areas of Expertise:
Literacy, Secondary English Language Arts, Practitioner Research, Critical Literacy, Multimodality and Visual Literacy, Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children's and YA Literature, Comics/Sequential Art/Graphic Novels in Education

Link to Dr. Low's Faculty Page

Mathis, Catherine


Office: Education Building, Rm 242
Phone: 559.278.0228

McDonald, Cheryl: Coordinator, Special Education Credential Program

Cheryl McDonald
Office: Education Building, Rm 359
Phone: 559.278.0412

B.A. Early Childhood, California State University, Fresno
M.A. Special Education [with distinction], California State University, Fresno

Areas of Expertise:
Mild-moderate disabilities; co-teaching; inclusion

Powell, Dana

Dana Powell
Office: Education Building, Rm343
Phone: 559.278.0288

Ph.D Special Education

Areas of Expertise:
Classroom Management
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Rodriguez, R. Joseph

Dr. R. Joseph Rodriguez
Office: Education Building, Rm 241
Phone: 559.278.0239

Shen, Hong


Office: Education Building, Rm345
Phone: (559) 278-0289

Torgerson, Colleen

Colleen Torgerson
Office: Education Building, Rm255
Phone: 559.278.0328
Curriculum Vita: Colleen Torgerson

Areas of Expertise:
Special Education: mild/moderate disabilities, services for infants to students age 22, legal issues, IEP development - student-led IEPs; Leadership and Administration in Education: K-12 and higher education; Teacher Education; University Freshman Experience: learning communities

Tracz, Susan: Interim Department Chair

Susan Tracz
Office: Education Building, Rm447
Phone: 559.278.0347

Ph.D. Measurement and Statistics
M.S. Marriage, Family and Child Counseling
M.A. English Literature
B.A. English Education

Areas of Expertise:
Statistics, General Linear Models, Evaluation, Educational Reform, Imagery in Counseling

Vang, Tony

Anthony Vang
Office: Education Building, Rm273
Phone: 559.278.0284

Doctor of Education
1990 -University of San Francisco

Areas of Expertise:
International Multicultural Education and Second Language Acquisition

Wahleithner, Juliet

Juliet Wahleithner

Office: Education Building, Rm 271
Phone: 559.278.0219
Link to Dr. Wahleithner's Faculty Page

Ph.D., Education, September 2013
University of California, Davis
Area: Language, Literacy, & Culture
Designated Emphasis: Writing, Rhetoric, & Composition Studies
M.A., Education, January 2010
University of California, Davis
Area: Language & Literacy
California Single Subject Teaching Credential, English, May 2002
Subject: English
Project Impact, San Joaquin County Office of Education
B.A., English, History Minor, March 1999
University of California, Davis

Areas of Expertise:
Literacy development at the secondary level
Teaching of writing
Teacher development
Teacher inquiry
Education evaluation

Wu, Pei-Ying

Dr. Pei-Ying Wu
Office: Education Building, Rm 25A
Phone: 559.278.0052

Yun, Cathy: Coordinator, Early Childhood Education Credential

Dr. Cathy Yun

Office: Education Building, Rm 235
Phone: 559.278.0238

MA (Reading Specialist), Teachers College, Columbia University
Ed.M. (Neuroscience and Education), Teachers College, Columbia University
PhD (Learning, Teaching & Diversity)

Areas of Expertise:
Research interests include the development of self-regulation in early childhood and early childhood teachers' beliefs and reflective practice.