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Nancy L. Shanklin

Associate Professor Emerita

My story:

Originally from Morton, Illinois, near Peoria, my degrees are all from Indiana University at Bloomington. I have been a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver for many years working in the areas of literacy, assessment, literacy/instructional coaching, professional learning, and pre-service and in-service teacher education. I am very proud of the programs that we have built in Reading and Writing, English Education, Teacher Education, and the EdD and hope to continue to build their excellence. I have also used my talents to influence literacy instruction throughout the State of Colorado. I have a sound understanding of many types of schools-- urban, suburban, and rural - and their needs. Nationally, I directed the Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse (LCC), a web-based project of the National Council Teachers of English with the International Reading Association. The Clearinghouse provided resources to literacy/instructional coaches, teachers, principals, and district administrators in hopes that coaching could help teachers to reflect upon and improve their instruction and, in turn, improve students' learning. I deeply want to see teachers improve students' literacy learning at all levels and am excited to have received this national opportunity. Most recently, I co-led an EdD thematic dissertation group of six EdD students who completed dissertations in practice around STEM, professional learning, and literacy inquiry questions and whose findings have influenced actions their Colorado school districts have taken.

I come from a large family, am married, and have 3 step-daughters living in Colorado and Minnesota; I also have eight grandchildren. I have also been a Big Sister for many years to an African-American young woman and her three children. Can you guess that I enjoy most being part of team efforts?

My students at University of Colorado Denver:

In my years as a faculty member in the School of Education & Human Development, I have taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students. My students work on degrees in general teacher education as part of their initial licensure program, on their MA degrees as part of the Reading and Writing or English Education programs, or as part of their doctoral degrees pursuing interest in students' literacy or educators' professional learning. My students have gone on to successful careers as elementary and secondary teachers, reading specialists, and literacy/reading/instructional coaches. My former EdD and PhD students hold building or central office positions with districts or other learning organizations or are instructors/professors in community colleges and higher education institutions. My deepest wish is that my students learn to develop their abilities to teach literacy and content and take their new learning into applied context where they can really make a difference for both teachers and students.

Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development are:

  • Secondary Literacy Instruction and Assessment - UCTE 4100/5100
  • Language and Literacy Across the Curriculum - LCRT 5730
  • Linking Assessment and Instruction - LLC 5055
  • Seminar and Practicum in Language & Literacy - LLC 6910/11

I am also the major advisor for the Online Adolescent Literacy Certificate Program which includes LCRT 5028, LCRT 5055, and LCRT 5029.

I direct the Secondary Literacy Network, a statewide network of teachers, coaches, and central office leaders who are interested in adolescent literacy. We offer courses through the Division of Continuing Education.

I am a member of the EdD faculty group sponsoring the EdD concentration in Professional Learning and Technology. 

My research interests include:

  • Adolescent literacy
  • Content/disciplinary literacy
  • Literacy/reading/instructional coaching
  • Literacy assessment
  • Educator professional learning/professional development
  • School reform

My hobbies include:

I love to ski. In fact, I bought a helmet a few years ago because I can still do blue/black runs where if a powerful, really fast skier or skateboarder plowed into me, I'd be the loser! I thought that I had better be more safe than sorry. I also love to bike, to swim, and to hike in the mountains. I love music and will go to almost any live musical events--especially outdoor concerts that you can hear in Colorado during the summer. I also love to plan trips and would like to travel more. Of course, you can guess that I love to read and to write; I am avid enough about this that I read in all sorts of fields. I am deeply interested in how people learn and how they use their literacy to transform their lives.

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