Dara Soljaga, PhD
Professor of LiteracyProgram Leader, MA in Reading Co-Director, Center for Literacy
College of Graduate and Innovative Programs
Dr. Soljaga teaches reading and curriculum courses to graduate students at Concordia-Chicago, including: Studies in Literacy and Multiliteracies; Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties; Remediation of Reading Problems; Practicums in Elementary and Secondary Reading Instruction; Roles, Relationships and Ethics of Reading Professionals; Literacy Foundations; and Policy Analysis. She also serves as a dissertation committee chairperson and on numerous other committees. Among her research interests are the intersection of literacy, language and the foundations of education.
Prior to serving Concordia, she was an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago and a frequent guest lecturer for the Chicago Public Schools system. She has served as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago and as a lead literacy teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Soljaga has been a member of Concordia’s faculty since 2006.
- PhD, Educational Policy and Leadership. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
- MEd, Educational Theory and Practice. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio,
- BS, Educational Theory and Practice. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Academic and Professional Highlights
- “Best Practices in Adult Literacy: Helping Adult Literacy Students Transfer Their Literacy Practices from Their Classrooms to Their Homes.” International Reading Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minn., May 4, 2009.
- “Reading It Right: Analyzing Lesson Plan Objectives Submitted via an Online Teaching Tool.” University of Moscow, Russia, April 24-May 4, 2009.
- “Different Yet the Same: Differentiating Instruction to Meet the Needs of All Learners.” New Urban Teacher’s Conference, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., Feb. 9, 2009.
- “Getting the Big Read: Teachers Share Professional Insight About Core Reading Series.” Concordia/West Suburban Reading Conference, River Forest, Ill., Feb. 7, 2009.
- "Stop Struggling: Effective Use of Reading Assessments to Inform Individual Student Instruction.” Urban Teachers Conference, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., Feb. 2, 2009.
- “Strategies that Translate into Practice: An Analysis of Comprehension Objectives in Masters of Reading Practicum Lesson Plans.” National Conference of the College Reading Association, Sarasota, Fla., Nov. 7, 2008.
- “Class Secrets: Uncovering Cultural Capital Awareness on Campus.” American Educational Studies Association, Savannah, Ga., Nov. 1, 2008.
- “What are Johnny, Juan and John Jr. Reading? A Document Analysis of the Cultural Capital Worth of Elementary Instructional Texts.” American Educational Research Association, New York City, March 26, 2008.
- “Unleashing the Jazzy, Fancy and Scientific: Powerful Vocabulary Instruction for All.” Concordia/West Suburban Reading Conference, River Forest, Ill., Feb. 2, 2008.
- “Managing Online Tools to Maximize the Reading Practicum Experience.” College Reading Association, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 1-4, 2007.
- “Hear Ye! Featuring Picture Books and the Internet in Content Area Instruction.” Concordia/West Suburban Reading Conference, River Forest, Ill., Feb. 2, 2007.
- “Reflective and Collaborative Strategies on Meeting the Challenge to Teach in the Social Foundation.” American Educational Studies Association, Spokane, Wash., Nov. 2006.
- “Redefining Nationalism: Analyzing Educational Policy Revisions in Serbia and Montenegro.” Comparative and International Education Society, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 2006.
- Faculty Research Grant: “Capturing Cultural Capital Perceptions from Elementary Teachers,” Concordia University Chicago, June 2008.
- Associated Colleges of Illinois Summer Research Grant, Center for Success in High Needs Schools: “Transforming Curriculum to Heighten Cultural Capital Awareness,” Concordia University Chicago, June 2008.
Awards and Honors
- Youth Commissioner, City of Park Ridge, Mayor’s Council, December 2007-present.