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Department of Education

Cathleen Rafferty

Cathleen Rafferty

Professional Background

Cathleen Rafferty, Ph.D., joined the faculty at Humboldt State University in 2000 and is a Professor in the School of Education.  She teaches courses in the SED credential program, the M.A. in Education program and also serves as developer/director of a Center that promotes and supports school-university collaboration (http://www.humboldt.edu/edcenter).

Cathleen has lived and taught in several states – both at the university level and in the public schools.  She began as a remedial reading teacher of 4th – 8th graders in Red Bud, IL and later taught Reading and Social Studies at a middle school in Gunnison, Co where she also coached girls’ basketball and track. 

After receiving her degree at the University of Colorado – Boulder, Cathleen taught at Eastern Illinois University, Central Michigan University and Indiana State University before coming to HSU.  While at CMU she spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at Michigan State University learning the art of collaboration in a model known as Professional Development Schools.

Professional Interests/Expertise

Cathleen’s main areas of interest/expertise are content literacy and school-university collaboration.   Currently she is co-directing two major collaborative projects that link HSU with other partners.  One, known as CAPP (California Academic Partnership Program) with the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District, continues to seek ways to support student success in high school to help ensure their college readiness.  The second is a two-county initiative known as an ARCHES/P-16 Council.  This effort involves universities, multiple school districts, two county offices of education, several Indian tribes and others who are collaborating to improve educational opportunities for American Indian students in Humboldt and Del Norte counties (http://ceeci.pbwiki.com/Humboldt-Del%2BNorte%2BP-16%2BCouncil%2B-%2BARCHES%2BProject).

Publications and Presentations

Author of dozens of articles as well as several monographs and book chapters, Cathleen’s publications closely align with her professional interests and areas of expertise.  She has published at the state and national level in journals such as Educational Leadership, the Middle School Journal and the Teacher Education Quarterly.  Topics include content literacy, document literacy, action research, portfolio assessment, collaboration and professional development schools, to name a few.  She has also presented at local, state, national and international conferences, serving as an invited keynote speaker in places like Puerto Rico and Brazil.

Courses Taught at HSU

Since arriving at Humboldt State University, Cathleen has taught the following courses: Content Area Literacy, Content Literacy Applications, Theoretical Models & Processes of Reading, Teaching in Higher Education and Qualitative Research Methods for Education.

When Not at HSU

During the summer and over winter break, Cathleen enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family – especially her husband, Phillip.


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