Dr. Annette VanAken joined the Concordia University Chicago community in 2017 as an assistant professor within the College of Graduate Studies.
Previously she taught undergraduate-level courses at Elmhurst College, Triton College and Thiel College. Prior to earning her doctoral degree, Dr. VanAken was a public and private school teacher, working as a director of an early childhood center, and teacher of children from preschool to the eighth grade for 19 years. She holds a doctorate from Liberty University in Curriculum and Instruction, a master's degree from the University of Southern Indiana in Elementary Education, and a bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College in Early Childhood Education, Art, and English. Currently, she is a member of the ISBE peer review team, a consultant for local museums' educational.
- EdD, Curriculum and Instruction - Liberty University; Lynchburg, VA
- MS, Elementary Education - University of Southern Indiana; Evansville, IN
- BA, Early Childhood Education - Hillsdale College; Hillsdale, MI
Academic and Professional Highlights
- Concordia University Chicago, Illinois, Assistant Professor, College of Graduate Studies, Department of Literacy and Early Childhood Education, 2017 – Present
- Elmhurst College, Illinois, Adjunct Professor, Elmhurst College Education and History Department, 2017 – 2018
- Triton College, River Grove, Illinois, Adjunct Professor, Triton College Education Department, 2017.
- Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, Adjunct Professor, Thiel College Education Department, 2014 - 2016
- Hillsdale Public Schools, Hillsdale, Michigan, First Grade Teacher, Bailey Elementary, 2005 -2009
- Albion Public Schools, Albion, Michigan, First Grade Teacher, Harrington Elementary, 2003 -2005, First and Second Grade Cluster Teacher, Albion Open School, 2002 -2003, First Grade Teacher, Crowell Elementary, 1999 - 2002
- Early Childhood Education
- Reading Acquisition, Attitudes, and Behaviors
- Use of Technology for Reading Instruction
VanAken, A. M. (2021). Using ebooks to support reading in early childhood: What do the data suggest. IL ASCD Quarterly Journal 67(3), 16-23.
VanAken, A. (Spring 2021). Mental health matters. DLECE Newsletter.
VanAken, A. (2020). The temporal, social, and physical environment as applications of the whole child tenets in early childhood. [Column]. Lutheran Education Journal, https://lej.cuchicago.edu/columns/supporting-the-temporal-social-and-physical-environments-of-young-children/
VanAken, A. (2019). The temporal, social, and physical environment as applications of the whole child tenets in early childhood. IL ASCD Quarterly Journal, 65(3).
VanAken, A. (2018). Effects of reading instruction through the use of ebooks for young readers. Lutheran Education Journal, 148(2), 7-26.
VanAken, A., Ryan, T. Howlett, J., Callaghan, J., Fahey, A., Hoffman, D., Vitek, D., Sutton, S., Sinclair, K., Cheng, E., & Cassidy, T. (2018). ICCP Strategic Plan: IC Publication.
Feedloop: What is it? [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. March 2021.
Feedloop: How do we use it? [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. April 2021.
The ECE masters and doctoral programs: What are they and why CUC is a place you can call home. [Presenter]. Collaborative Work with KTA Marketing, Online Zoom. (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).
Supporting student during COVID-19. [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. August 2020.
Collecting student data. [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. August 2020.
Project approach: Connections to brain and child development. [Workshop Presenter]. LEA-South Africa. July 2019.
Project approach: Let's investigate. [Workshop Presenter]. LEA-South Africa. July 2019.
Executive functions and early mathematics. [Presenter]. LCMS Early Childhood Consultants Conference, Concordia University Chicago. April 2019.
Effective communication with students. [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. August 2019.
Writing in the discipline preschool through kindergarten. [Presenter]. Urban Teachers Conference, Concordia University Chicago. February 2019.