Orange block


Stephanie Whalen


Office: D263A

Phone: 847-925-6324


Courses Taught:

Developmental English

College Success Courses


Ed.D., Curriculum Leadership, Northern Illinois University, 2011-2016

M.Ed., Curriculum & Instruction, English Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998-2000

B.A., English with a topical minor in Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995-98

Academic Interests:

I got my start as a college success advocate while on staff in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at UIUC as a graduate assistant in Academic Support; I facilitated Academic, Career, and Wellness resources for student-athletes. I went on to teach English, Reading, and Composition at Rich Central High School and Wheeling High School. At Harper, I coordinate our Practical Psychology of Learning course and co-lead a Start Smart team that helps faculty develop First Year Seminar courses with success outcomes contextualized in student interests and needs.

I infuse academic coaching into my teaching of developmental English courses as well. I developed my affinity for literary analysis when I learned to explicate, or unfold the meaning of, texts. Synthesizing a deeper understanding through close reading and responding to an author's craft strengthens our connections as part of humanity. Students become much more confident in their abilities to work with complex texts after they experience explication as a way to draw out the meaning of an excerpt from an intricate reading, thus cultivating language skills for personal and collective empowerment.

My dissertation is inspired by the work of Gloria Ladson-Billings, and is titled Dreamkeepers at the Gate: Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy in the Community College Classroom. I continue to study dispositions that serve as foundations for culturally relevant and responsive teaching along with cultural integrity as it relates to critical literacy and the potential of schools as agents of social reconstructivism.