About RESE

Hours of Operation during the Spring 2022 Semester: 
We are open but also practicing social distancing measures for the Spring 2022 semester.

RESE Office Hours:
Mondays: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesdays: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesdays: 8:00 am - 5:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Fridays: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

If you need to contact RESE, please do so between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm via phone at 828-262-2182 or by emailing specific staff or faculty below: 

Dr. Woodrow Trathen: trathenwr@appstate.edu
RESE Department Chair
Melissa Issacs: isaacsm@appstate.edu
RESE University Program Specialist
Claudia Palta: paltacv@appstate.edu
RESE Student Services Manager

Dr. Beth Frye: fryeem@appstate.edu 
Reading Education Graduate & Undergraduate Program Director
Reading Education Graduate Certificate Contact

Dr. Devery Ward: mockdr@appstate.edu
Anderson Reading Clinic Director
Dr. Aftynne Cheek: cheekae1@appstate.edu 
Special Education Undergraduate Program Director
Dr. Rebecca Shankland: shanklandrk@appstate.edu
Special Education Graduate Program Director
Dr. Deb Prykanowski: prykanowskida@appstate.edu
Special Education Graduate Certificate (Residency) Contact
Dr. Susan Hedges: hedgessh@appstate.edu
Special Education Graduate Certificate Autism Contact
Dr. Chris Van Loan: vanloancl@appstate.edu
Special Education Graduate Certificate EBD Contact


About RESE

Our department comprises two programs: Reading Education and Special Education. The department offers innovative programs focusing on all facets of reading, writing, language arts and specific areas of special education. We also offer the Anderson Reading Clinic, which provides direct services to children with reading disabilities.

The Reading Education program has a reputation of being the finest in the state of North Carolina. The Advanced Master's degree in reading at Appalachian offers two concentrations to persons who are interested in teaching reading and language arts: Classroom/Clinical and Adult Literacy. The Reading Education program also offers a graduate certificate and add-on license in Reading Education.

The Special Education program is one of the strongest programs in the College of Education offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. The undergraduate program prepares future teachers to work with students with disabilities. Completion of this degree leads to licensure in either Special Education: General Curriculum K-12, or Special Education: Adapted Curriculum K-12, depending on the concentration chosen. The graduate program offers a Master of Arts in Special Education, with coursework in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities. The program also offers a graduate certificate in Autism.

Mission Statement

The mission of RESE is to create a learning environment that fosters discovery and dissemination of knowledge to promote learning, equitable access, and enhanced learning outcomes for all students. The faculty aim to prepare educators to respect the individual needs of children and to foster a caring and creative environment that is responsive to the social, emotional, physical, intellectual development of each child. In preparing teachers and leaders to serve students and educational communities in all their rich diversity, we collaborate with community-based initiatives, seek out community partners, and continually work to discover fresh and innovative ways to approach both curriculum and pedagogy.

Vision Statement

The RESE Department will distinguish itself as a state and national leader in efforts to be responsive, engaged, and collaborative in addressing the diverse needs of its students, faculty, and community. The department and its faculty will be recognized for its excellence in teaching, research, and service and its commitment to preparing professionals to provide leadership and exemplary educational and related services to improve the lives of individuals and transform our global society.

The mission and vision of RESE embody its programs’ goals and aspirations of our faculty members and align with RCOE’s mission and vision as well as Appalachian State University’s mission and strategic plan.

Inclusive Excellence Statement 

As members of the department of Reading Education and Special Education (RESE):

We welcome any and all groups that are underrepresented, marginalized, or that have suffered from discrimination. 

We create and sustain inclusive learning environments where RESE department members actively practice respect for all identities, including but not limited to ability spectrum, age, citizenship status, color, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, language, national origin, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, race, and veteran status.

We engage in reflective and reflexive practices so that all public and private spaces, including but not limited to classrooms, restrooms, offices, clinics, practica and digital environments, can be places where all learners can feel welcomed, valued, respected, and supported.

We continue to grow as an inclusive community. If you have thoughts or suggestions on how we might better fulfill our obligation to be an inclusive community of learners, we encourage you to share those ideas with fellow students, staff, and faculty. We work closely with our myriad campus resources to ensure our students are safe and have their needs met. 

Here is a list of just some of our campus resources:

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