As a professor of curriculum, language and literacy, Dr. Soljaga has created, maintained and overseen the delivery of three MA Reading courses for more than a decade while developing and co-developing online master’s and doctoral-level courses and instructing students and certified teachers pursuing those degrees. 


Courses taught include: Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties; Remediation of Reading Problems; Practicums in Elementary and Secondary Reading Instruction; Roles, Relationships and Ethics of Reading Professionals; Literacy Foundations; Policy Analysis and others. Among her research interests are the intersection of literacy, language and the foundations of education. As chair of the department of Literacy and Early Childhood Education, Dr. Soljaga supervises full- and part-time faculty. She manages the creation, development and delivery of six graduate programs and coordinates departmental accreditation and evaluation processes and reports. 


Degrees

  • PhD, Educational Policy and Leadership - The Ohio State University; Columbus, OH
  • MEd, Educational Theory and Practice - The Ohio State University; Columbus, OH
  • BS, Educational Theory and Practice - The Ohio State University; Columbus, OH

Academic and Professional Highlights

Awards and Honors

  • Youth Commissioner, City of Park Ridge, Mayor’s Council, December 2007-2013.

Selected Grants

  • LLINK (Literacy and Language Integration for the Negotiation of Knowledge) with the Big Shoulders Fund as partners, Planning Grant awarded at $25,000 for 2013-4 and Implementation Grants at $150,000 for 2014-5; at $200,000 for 2015-6; $150,000 for 2016-7; with Dr. Simeon Stumme.

  • EXCEL-erated Literacy for Adolescent Learners at $12,000 for the 2014-5 school year and $12,000 for the 2015-6 school year. Funded by the Oak Park and River Forest Townships Youth Services with Dr. Veronica Richard and Dr. Sandra Doering.

  • JiM (Jumping into Multiliteracies) Class  at $11,680 for the 2013-4 school year, $12,000 for the 2014-5 school year, $12,860 for the 2015-6 school year, $14,467.65. Funded by the Oak Park and River Forest Townships Youth Services.

  • How fast is too fast? Mapping the ideal range of oral reading rates for the maximization of comprehension at $5,400 funded by a Faculty Research Grant Concordia University Chicago, August 2013.

  • A comparative analysis: Australian teacher’s perceptions of the cultural capital worth of instructional texts funded at $1,200 by a Faculty Summer Research Grant Concordia University Chicago, June 2013.

  • Capturing Cultural Capital Perceptions from Elementary Teachers funded at $1,200 by a Faculty Summer Research Grant Concordia University Chicago, June 2008.

  • Transforming Curriculum to Heighten Cultural Capital Awareness funded at $1,500 by Center for Success in High Needs Schools distributed by Associated Colleges of Illinois, June 2008.

Service

  • Appointed Program Reviewer for the International Literacy Association’s (formerly IRA) SPAs in conjunction with CAEP (formerly NCATE) program accreditation; 2012-present. 

  • Youth Commissioner and Commission Treasurer, City of Park Ridge Youth Commission, Mayor’s Council Appointment ; 2007-2013.

  • Invited Participant to the Lloyd Elementary “Day of Learning and Reflection” Chicago Public Schools; April 24, 2012.
     
  • Reviewed Conference Proposals for the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA); 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008.

  • Reviewed Conference Proposals and served on Conference Planning Committee for the Annual Conference of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER); 2011, 2009.

Publications:

  • “Multicultural education?” with He, M. F, Sapp, J., Eng, B. C., Aguilar, J., Scott-Simmons, W., Nunez, I., & Johnson, L. Part V: Guide to New Resources (a series of book reviews). Multicultural Perspectives: An Official Journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education, (12) 4: 237-244; 2010

  • “What do I know fo’ sho’? First year lessons of an urban teacher.” Lutheran Education Journal; 2010.

  • “Graduate students and publication in scholarly journals,” editorial (with other authors), Comparative Education Review, v42 n3 p247-52; 1998.

Presentations:

  • “Monitoring Student Growth: Considering a Multiliteracies Instructional Observation Checklist” with Veronica Richard, Ph.D., Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER), Costa Mesa, CA, November 5-8, 2015. 

  • “Language and Literacy as Essential to the Negotiation of Knowledge: Creating a Responsive Model” with Simeon Stumme, Ph.D., Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER), Costa Mesa, CA, November 5-8, 2015. 

  • “Photo-Elicitation and Visual Representation in Literacy Teaching and Learning: Accessing Participant and Students’ Metacognitive Actions to Bolster Self-Regulatory Processes” with Veronica Richard, Ph.D. and Meg Noack, World Educational Research Association, Edinburgh, Scotland, November 19 -21, 2014.

  • “Identifying Critical Consumerism and Monitoring Student Growth in a Global Context: Forging a Multiliteracies Formative Assessment Tool” with Veronica Richard, Ph.D., World Educational Research Association, Edinburgh, Scotland, November 19 -21, 2014.

  • “Classroom Talk: Negotiating Language and Literacy Instruction” with Simeon Stumme, Ph.D., Illinois Reading Council (IRC), Springfield, IL, October 2, 2014.

  • “A Comparative Analysis: Australian Teacher’s Perceptions of the Cultural Capital Worth of Instructional Texts” Concordia University Chicago’s First Mondays, November 4, 2013.

  • “Preliminary Lessons: Language and Literacy Negotiation in a Sociocultural Context” with Simeon Stumme at the Concordia University Chicago and West Suburban Reading Council 38th Annual Reading Conference, October 19, 2013.

  • “Lessons from Down Under: Literacy Learning from Australia, Part II” with Carolyn Koegler-Aloisio and Kristen VanLeeuwen at the Concordia University Chicago and West Suburban Reading Council 38th Annual Reading Conference, October 19, 2013.

  • “Bringing the Community to Campus: Creating a Free Adult Literacy Clinic” with Simeon Stumme, Ph.D., International Reading Association (IRA) Annual Convention, San Antonio, TX, April 19-22, 2013.

  • “Life Writing and Memoir as Tools for Understanding Advocacy" with Peter Renn, Ph.D., American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA, April 27-May 1, 2013.