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Prep For Success

Prep For Success
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Prep For Success


Welcome to The SUNY New Paltz PREP for Success (Preparing Reflective and Effective Practitioners For Student and Professional Success) website. The overall goal of this project is to redesign and enhance our existing graduate programs in Childhood Special Education (CSE) and Adolescent Special Education (ASE) to ensure that our graduates meet the highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements in IDEA and effectively serve students with high-incidence disabilities.

The faculty at SUNY-New Paltz are committed to meeting the previously identified national, statewide and regional needs by redesigning and enhancing our existing high quality teacher education program to better
prepare teachers who are skilled in Evidence Based Practices and have practical experiences
in high needs schools.

On this website, you can access resources developed by project faculty under a grant from the US Department of Education. You are welcome to use these materials. When you do, please let us know how this worked for you.


Project Faculty


Barbara Fink Chorzempa

Associate Professor

Co-project director

Office: OM 103C

Phone: (845) 257-2851

E-mail: chorzemb@newpaltz.edu



An Associate Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Chorzempa teaches courses on inclusive classrooms, individuals with exceptional needs and literacy. She has established and maintained university-school partnerships, teaching literacy methods courses on-site in two local schools. Dr. Chorzempa has published several articles and a book chapter resulting from the collaboration experiences. Additional publications and research interests include the use of Socratic seminars in inclusive elementary classrooms, strategy instruction, and the importance of handwriting and spelling instruction. In her time away from campus, Dr. Chorzempa can be found by the side of a pool, cheering on her son at his swim meets or on the sidelines of a soccer field, coaching her daughter.


Spencer Salend


Co-project director

Office: OM 102

Phone: (845) 257-2842

E-mail: salends@newpaltz.



A Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Salend teaches courses on educational assessment and research methodology and has been the project director and program evaluator of numerous U.S. Department of Education grants. He is the author of Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Effective and Reflective Practices (7th edition) and Classroom Testing and Assessment for All Students: Beyond Standardization, and over 125 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters addressing such topics as effective inclusive education practices, students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, educational assessment, model teacher education programs, and program evaluation. In recognition of the significance of his research, he was selected as a recipient of the State University of New York's Faculty Scholar Award and the Chancellor's Research Recognition Award.


Jane Sileo

Assistant Professor

Office: OM 103A

Phone: (845) 257-2835

E-mail: sileoj@newpaltz.edu



An Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Sileo teaches courses in educating special learners, literacy and social studies instruction for students with disabilities, young children with disabilities, and inclusive classrooms. Her research and interests have focused on developing language through play, ethical practice, collaborating with families, research-based practices for differentiation, and co-teaching. This includes identifying the needs of the local schools to better prepare our scholars for working in these schools as well as providing the teachers with the goals we have for our scholars.


Michael Smith

Assistant Professor

Office: OM 103B

Phone: (845) 257-2867

E-mail: smithm@newpaltz.edu



An assistant professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Smith teaches courses on issues of diversity in education and research methods. His research interests include teacher preparation for diversity, first-year teacher experiences, and the process of new teacher induction. Dr. Smith was been actively involved in projects investigating new teacher experiences and the process of induction, facilitating seminars with new teachers, and communicating research-based strategies for new teacher retention.


Robin Smith

Associate Professor 

Office: OM 103D                  

Phone: (845) 257-2918

E-mail: smithrm@newpaltz.edu




An Associate Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Smith has published numerous articles and given presentations on inclusion, the construction of disability, ethical practice, solution-focused positive behavior support and classroom planning, and self-advocacy for individuals with disabilities. She teaches courses on the foundations of special education, multiple intelligences, and classroom management, including how to support students with challenging behaviors in inclusive classrooms.  Her personal experience with disability and civil rights advocacy has fostered insights on the perspectives of students with disabilities and their families. Dr. Smith has also coordinated several grants fundeed by the New York State Department of Education.


Catharine Whittaker


Co-project director

Office: OM 103E

Phone: (845) 257-2843

E-mail: whittakc@newpaltz.edu


A Professor and the Coordinator of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies. Dr. Whittaker teaches courses on instructing students with disabilities on the secondary level, teaching students from diverse backgrounds, inclusive practices for secondary general educators and multicultural education. She is the co-author of Bridging Multiple worlds: Case studies of Diverse Educational Communities (2nd ed.) and over 30 peer-reviewed articles that address instructional strategies for students with high incidence disabilities, issues of educating diverse learners, differentiating instruction, using case study instruction in teacher education, and teacher preparation. Dr. Whittaker has been a project director for several U. S. Department of Education and New York State Education Department grants.




Robert Michael

Liaison, State Education Department & Chief School Officers

E-mail: michaelr@newpaltz.edu




Dr. Robert Michael was formerly a Professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Studies and Dean of the School of Education. He was the author of The Educator's Guide to Students with Epilepsy and was co-editor of Current Issues in Teacher Education, as well as a number of peer-reviewed articles and monographs.  He recently received the SUNY New Paltz President's Award for his service to the college.





Lenore Schulte
Project Administrative Assistant
Office: OM B120
Phone: (845) 257-2767 Fax: (845) 257-2666
E-mail: schultel@newpaltz.edu


PREPforSuccess Project email: prepforsuccess@zmail.newpaltz.edu



The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, H325T100002. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government. Project Officer,  Sarah Allen.