Associate Professor w/Tenure of Special Education
College of Education
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Elaine Cheesman received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 2004. She received her training as a Qualified Instructor of Academic Language Therapy at Teacher's College, Columbia University.
Her primary research interests are the preparation of teachers in evidence-based reading and writing instruction and using technology to improve student learning.
Dr. Cheesman received the Excellence in Teacher Educator Award from the Teacher Education Division of the Colorado Council for Exceptional Children in 2008, and the Teacher of the Year award from the UCCS College of Education in 2007, the Outstanding Researcher Award from the UCCS College of Education in 2012.
Dr. Cheesman serves on the National Board of Directors for the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA),the Board of the International Dyslexia Association, Rocky Mountain Branch, and the Professional Development Committee of the International Dyslexia Association. She has assisted the Colorado Department of Education in reviewing the literacy content of teacher preparation programs throughout Colorado, writing the Specific Learning Disabilities Guidelines (2007), and the Colorado Academic Standards in Reading and Writing (2009).
Ph.D., Special Education
University of Connecticut – 2004
M.A., American Folk Culture, Cooperstown Graduate Programs
State University of New York - 1980
B.S., Elementary Education
Western Oregon University - 1972
Reading Content developed by Dr. Cheesman are recognized as meeting the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)Knowledge and Practice Standards.
SPED 4010 / 5010 - Multisensory Structured Language Education
This course includes both content knowledge and principles of instruction regarding explicit, systematic instruction for students at-risk for reading failure and older students who struggle with reading. The scope of the course covers the five essential elements of reading and spelling instruction, including phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Teacher candidates plan and organize instruction for a beginning-level reading tutorial student based on ongoing assessment. Students evaluate his / her instruction and the instruction of peers through small-group coaching sessions.
SPED 4011 / 5011 - Assessment and Instructional Monitoring
This course introduces and examines evaluation concepts and assessment formats with specific attention to curriculum-based, individually-referenced measures, standardized norm-referenced assessments, and large-scale criterion-referenced tests characteristic of most statewide programs. Teacher candidates learn to use assessment data when making curricular and instructional decisions. Candidates gain experience in designing and administering both formal and informal tests and become proficient at data based decision-making.
SPED 4012 / 5012 - Differentiated Instruction
This course focuses on expanding teacher candidates' knowledge of the structure of English, including syllable types, reading and spelling multisyllabic base words and derivatives, morphology, Latin affixes, Greek combining forms, and written composition. Teacher candidates plan and organize instruction for an intermediate-level reading tutorial student based on ongoing assessment. Students evaluate his/her instruction and the instruction of peers through small-group coaching sessions.
SPED 5114 / 5115 - Multisensory Reading and Writing Internship
These courses are a two-semester internship in multisensory reading and spelling instruction for students with severe reading/writing challenges, including dyslexia. It provides clinical experience teaching targeted or intensive level reading and writing in small groups of four or fewer students using an Orton-Gillingham based curriculum. Participants work in one's own school setting to provide 60 hours (40-minute lessons) of supervised multisensory reading and writing instruction to small groups of students and attend bi-monthly seminars either in-person or via computer.
Dr. Cheesman's primary research interests are the preparation of teachers in evidence-based reading and writing instruction and using technology to improve students learning.