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Dr. Woodrow Trathen named chair of RCOE’s Department of Reading Education and Special Education

By Kelley Bratcher

BOONE, N.C.—Dr. Woodrow Trathen has been named chair of the Department of Reading Education and Special Education (RESE) in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education (RCOE). Trathen began his new role in March.

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Trathen is a professor in the department and has taught at Appalachian since 1993. Trathen’s team of over 30 faculty and staff members is highly active in scholarship, grant activity, service and teaching. The RESE department encompasses both undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Special Education, Master of Arts in Reading Education, Graduate Certificate in Reading Education, Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a doctoral concentration in Reading and Literacy Education.

Additionally, the department houses the Anderson Reading Clinic, which remains the only university-based clinic in North Carolina that offers year-round teacher training for students, along with diagnostic and remedial reading services for children in the community. Also housed within the department are the Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP), which prepares college-aged students with intellectual disabilities for personal growth and occupational success, and the Parent to Parent Family Support Network, which provides specific services to families and the community in caring for children with special needs.

Trathen earned a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, where he studied reading and linguistics. He holds North Carolina teaching certification in Reading K-12, ESL K-12 and English (9-12). Trathen’s research interests include beginning reading assessment and instruction, comprehension processes and instruction, writing development and instruction, and literacy and technology. He has presented at the international and national level, and his published work is found in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Elementary School Journal, The Reading Teacher, Reading Research and Instruction.

About the Reich College of Education

Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.