Welcome to the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education!

The professors assembled to work in the department came from a variety of different places and have different expertise. Our goal is to lead the Central Valley of California in ideas concerning literacy instruction, early childhood education and English language development. We seek to innovative, inspiring, responsive, research-based and above all, scholarly. We pledge to:

1. Teach effective approaches to reading and writing instruction, English language development, bilingual education, and early childhood education to beginning teachers (credential) and master teachers (master's and reading specialist credential).

2. Publish and present research and theory about meaningful and productive classroom practice.

3. Serve the community by providing and disseminating that knowledge to education professionals and serve the university in self-governance.

Department Overview


The primary mission of the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education is to prepare knowledgeable and professionally competent teachers and curriculum leaders in the areas of early childhood education (N-3), bilingual/cross-cultural education (K-12), and reading/language arts (K-12) in both public and private educational settings.

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

Laura Alamillo
Chair, Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education (LEBSE)
Office: Education Building, Rm 250
Phone: (559) 278-0250
Email: lalamillo@csufresno.edu

Carrie Moore
Administrative Support Coordinator
Office: Education Building, Rm 250
Phone: (559) 278-0250
E-mail: camoore@csufresno.edu

Rene Benell
Early Education Center
Administrative Office Assistant
Office: Education Building, Rm 98
Phone: (559) 278-0450
E-mail: rbenell@csufresno.edu

Department Faculty

Abramson, Shareen


Office: Education Building, Rm 436
Phone: (559) 278-1230
E-mail: shareena@csufresno.edu

Alamillo, Laura: Department Chair


Office: Education Building, Rm 269
Phone: (559) 278-0280
Email: lalamillo@csufresno.edu

DPELFS Graduate Group - Core

Areas of Expertise:  Bilingual education policy, theory and method; education of culturally and linguistically diverse students; second language acquisition theory and methods; Latina/o children's literature; language issues in education

Basurto, Imelda: Coordinator, Reading Program

Office: Education Building, Rm263
Phone: (559) 278-0285
E-mail: ibasurto@csufresno.edu

Bathina, Jyothi


Office: Education Building, Rm267
Phone: (559) 278-0532
Email: jbathina@csufresno.edu
Website: literatevoices.org

Area of Expertise: Secondary Reading; Reaching and Teaching At Risk Youth; Critical and Functional Literacy.

Bennett, Lisa: Coordinator, Multiple Subject Credential Program

Lisa Bennett

Office: Education Building, Rm 265
Phone: (559) 278-0243
Email: lbennett@csufresno.edu

Coy, Kimberly

Office: Education Building, Rm 357
Phone: 559.278.0724
E-mail: kcoy@csufresno.edu

Billen, Monica

Office: Education Building, Rm 259
Phone: 559.278.0267
E-mail: mbillen@csufresno.edu

Caldera, Cheryl


Director, California Reading & Literature Project

Office: Education Building, Rm 371
Phone: (559) 278-0429
Email: ccaldera@csufresno.edu

Chen, Feiyan

Office: Education Building, Rm 267
Phone: 559.278.0222
E-mail: fchen@csufresno.edu

Garnett, William

Office: Education Building, Rm 341
Phone: 559.278.0448
E-mail: wgarnett@csufresno.edu

Hart, Steve


Office: Education Building, Rm247
Phone: (559) 278-0319
E-mail: smhart@csufresno.edu

DPELFS Graduate Group - Affiliated

Areas of Expertise: Literacy education and teacher professional development; literacy education for diverse learners; critical literacy, service-learning, and educational equity and justice; school reform; afterschool literacy programs; school-wide literacy assessment plans.

Huerta, Teresa


Office: Education Building, Rm253
Phone: (559) 278-0364
E-mail: thuerta@csufresno.edu
Curriculum Vita: Teresa Huerta

Juarez, Sarah Werner

Office: Education Building, Rm 339
Phone: 559.278.0307
E-mail: swerner@csufresno.edu

Low, David

Office: Education Building, Rm 269
Phone: 559.278.0208
E-mail: dlow@csufresno.edu

Mathis, Catherine


Office: Education Building, Rm021
Phone: (559) 278-0228
E-mail: cmathis@csufresno.edu

McDonald, Cheryl: Coordinator, Special Education Program

Office: Education Building, Rm 359
Phone: 559.278.0412
E-mail: cmcdonald@csufresno.edu

O'Neill, Barbara

Barb O'Neill

Director, Joyce M. Huggins Early Childhood Center

Office: Education Building, Rm259
Phone: (559) 278-0267
E-mail: boneill@csufresno.edu

Powell, Dana


Office: Education Building, Rm343
Phone: (559) 278-0288
Email: danac@csufresno.edu

Shelton, Marilyn R.


Office: Education Building, Rm261
Phone: (559) 278-0268
E-mail: marilyns@csufresno.edu

Shen, Hong


Office: Education Building, Rm345
Phone: (559) 278-0289
Email: hshen@csufresno.edu

Torgerson, Colleen


Office: Education Building, Rm255
Phone: (559) 278-0328
Email: colleent@csufresno.edu
Curriculum Vita: Colleen Torgerson

DPELFS Graduate Group – Core

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

Vang, Tony: Coordinator, Bilingual Education in Spanish and Hmong


Office: Education Building, Rm273
Phone: (559) 278-0284
E-mail: tvang@csufresno.edu

Wahleithner, Juliet

Office: Education Building, Rm 271
Phone: 559.278.
E-mail: jwahleithner@csufresno.edu

Yun, Cathy: Coordinator, Early Childhood Education Program

Cathy Yun

Office: Education Building, Rm 235
Phone: (559) 278-0238
Email: cyun@csufresno.edu