NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

K-12 Professionals

Meeting the Academic and Linguistic Needs of Students in Poverty

EDUC 600




Instructor: Michelle Kalina

Grading: Graded

Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)

Instruction Mode: Correspondence

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

Course Fee: $150

Class Offered Through Northstar Continuing Education

Course Description:

Educators continue to be frustrated by the growing achievement gap between students living in poverty and their middle-class peers. What causes this achievement gap and how can teachers ensure that all of their students can be successful learners? This class will examine poverty and its effect on children’s cognitive and social development, as well as provide educators with practical strategies for increasing the literacy, math, behavior and socialization skills of students in their classes. Educators will learn how to modify their own teaching methods to promote academic achievement in their classrooms.  Implications of poverty on English language learners, special education assessment, gifted and talented programs and classroom behavior will also be discussed.


As a result of participation in this course, students should:

1.   Describe how the consequences of living in poverty can impact the cognitive and social/emotional development of children.

2.   Develop a plan to increase literacy and availability of literacy materials in the homes of your students.

3.   Describe the value conflicts between low socioeconomic status (SES) families and middle class professionals.

4.   Describe how you could support and encourage family involvement in the student’s education.

5.   Plan, construct and implement a plan to decrease the achievement gap between low and high SES students in your classroom.


The required reading is found in the two texts listed below. The required texts are:

Kunjufu, J. (2006). An African centered response to Ruby Payne’s poverty theory. Chicago, IL: African American Images.

Thomas-Presswood, T. & Presswood, D. (2008). Meeting the needs of students and families from poverty: A handbook for school and mental health professionals. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.

Textbook(s) not included in the cost of the course.

About The Instructor

Michelle Kalina
Michelle Kalina

Michelle Kalina earned an M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin, Steven's Point. Michelle also has a B.S. in Communicative Disorders and a B.A. in German and History, with a minor in Russian. Michelle is ASHA and DPI certified in Early Childhood through Adult Populations in Educational Settings. Michelle has over 17 years of experience as a speech/language clinician.


**Registration Instructions:

A minimum $20 processing fee will be assessed per person for cancellations received after the start of the course. Refunds are not issued after the start of the course or after access to the course has been provided.

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