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Reading Department

Dr. Charles Versacci, an ESU faculty member, founded the ESU Reading Department in 1970. Since that time, the Department has served the Early Childhood and Elementary Education Department, the Professional and Secondary Education Department, and the Special Education and Rehabilitation Department. REED 314 Foundations of Reading for the Developing Child, REED 315 Scaffolding Language and Literacy Development for Students with Disabilities, and REED 350 Teaching Reading to Communities of Diverse Learners are among the undergraduate courses taught. The Reading Department is also home to the Graduate Reading Program, which includes Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification and a Master’s Degree in Reading Education and is available totally online.

Click here to link to the Totally Online Graduate Reading Program Page:

The nationally known faculty in the Reading Department--Dr. Mary Beth Allen, Dr. Maureen McLaughlin, and Dr. Shawn Watkins--teach candidiates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to accomplish their professional goals.

Mary Beth Allen ( is the Graduate Coordinator and a Professor in the Reading Department. Dr. Allen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and her master's degree from Towson State University. She earned her doctorate from Texas A & M University, Commerce.

Maureen McLaughlin ( Dr. McLaughlin is a professor in the Reading Department. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marywood University and her doctorate in reading and language development from Boston University.

Shawn L. Watkins ( is the chairperson and an associate professor in the Reading Department. Dr. Watkins received her undergraduate degree from California University of Pennsylvania and earned her master's degree and her doctorate from the University of Mississippi