Graduate Education News: last updated 04/23/2010

FCCR Expert Elissa Arndt Teaches Teachers

Education professionals throughout the world often look to the Florida Center for Reading and Research (FCRR) for help in understanding trends and issues in teaching. Now its influence can be tapped locally at Gordon College’s Graduate Program of Education when taking reading courses with adjunct professor Elissa Arndt, Ph.D., in Reading and Language Arts from the School of Teacher Education in the College of Education at Florida State University. In April of 2005, Arndt—who graduated from Gordon in 2000—was invited to work full-time at FCRR while also completing her doctoral studies at FSU. She began flying back to Boston from Florida once a month to teach in the on-campus graduate program. In the process, she helped design courses for Gordon’s reading specialist license. Because of its research and instructional scholarship, FCRR has been a primary influence on reading policy in districts throughout the country, and as part of Arndt’s work at FCRR, she reviewed reading curricula and created reports to help teachers, principals, and district personnel in choosing materials for effective instruction.

“Elissa has been an integral part of our team here at FCRR, providing content support to teachers through reviewing reading curriculum and providing professional development for teachers in the areas of literacy and intervention,” said Dr. Barbara R. Foorman, Francis Eppes, professor of education and director at FCRR. “She helped train teachers in the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading, and I’m confident she’ll provide the same essential services to teachers in Massachusetts.”

Arndt says the level of compassion and professionalism students in the Gordon program have displayed has encouraged her. The graduate education program attracts a diversity of local educators interested in improving their classroom skills, working toward certification, or beginning new careers.

“These graduate students take ownership and responsibility to improve literacy so they can better serve children,” Arndt said. “In an era in which teachers must take accountability, Gordon’s students are proactive and continue to improve their curriculum and instruction every day.”

Arndt is also a certified speech-language pathologist and has worked in elementary schools and at North Shore Children’s Hospital on Boston’s North Shore. She plans to continue her research scholarship in reading and provide leadership to curriculum and instruction.


Elissa Arndt