Episode 46 - LEAD on READ: Reaching more Readers, Training more Teachers with Katie Pace Miles, PhD

Episode Summary

In this special episode of LEAD on READ, Katie Pace Miles, PhD, discusses her leadership work at CUNY Reading Corps, which pairs high dose tutoring for students in NYC with training for pre-service graduate and undergraduate teachers in structured literacy programs.  High dose tutoring has received a lot of attention in current research and popular press to target the needs of struggling readers.  
Dr. Miles explains this model of direct service and offers insights for program implementation, scalability, and sustainability. Listeners will gain information and inspiration for reconceptualizing service and partnership models for students and educators, especially in higher education. This LEAD on READ episode is a guidebook for leadership and entrepreneurship toward disrupting the educational status quo for better reading outcomes and support for students. 

Top READ Bookmarks
Each episode, host Danielle Scorrano identifies key takeaways or “READ bookmarks.”

As co-founder of CUNY Reading Corps, Katie Pace Miles, PhD, discusses the lessons she learned in implementing and scaling this direct service program. CUNY Reading Corps trains graduate and undergraduate pre-service teachers as they serve as tutors for struggling readers in the NYC DOE.  

What it means to be a leader right now  

Dr. Miles emphasizes the importance of leading with empathy.   

“I set ambitious goals. I tried to do something to support the community, and at every step along the journey, I was humbled by how much empathy I needed to bring to the table.”   

Disrupting the status quo in higher education 

In episode 37, Dr. Miles discussed her idea of pairing high dose tutoring with field work practicum experiences in her classes. In this episode of LEAD on READ, Dr. Miles expands upon this program through CUNY Reading Corps. 

“We broke out of the preexisting notions of what field work needed to look like in the university setting.” 

In developing this program, Dr. Miles adopted the mindset of institutional entrepreneurship by addressing the needs of university students and students in NYC during the pandemic.  

Read more Institutional entrepreneurship (Battilana, Leca & Boxenbaum, 2009) here.

Dr. Miles reflects on the tutoring-field work model: 

 “I'm going to train you and you're going to actually provide this service. But it's not just about the child. It's also about you as the pre-service teacher feeling like you can make a difference like this. It’s about you feeling well-equipped to implement explicit, systematic, multimodal instruction – not just talk about it in class.” 

The mechanisms for scalability and sustainability   

Since its inception, CUNY Reading Corps has expanded from Brooklyn College to multiple CUNY campuses and has been adopted by other universities across the country. Dr. Miles offers lessons and insights about scalability: 

  • Demonstrate the quality and fidelity of the program implementation.  

  • Identify your expertise and collaborate with others who can help actualize your vision. 

  • Seek guidance from institutional actors who can provide support and expertise. 

  • Leverage support from external critical actors who can provide insights on mechanisms for scalability such as identifying resources and developing partnerships. 


Learn more about Dr. Katie Pace Miles   Learn more about CUNY Reading Corps


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READ Podcast is produced by The Windward School and The Windward Institute. READ is hosted by Danielle Scorrano.

About READ: READ, the Research Education ADvocacy Podcast connects you with prominent researchers, thought leaders, and educators who share their work, insights, and expertise about current research and best practices in fields of education and child development.

Note: All information and insights shared demonstrate the expertise and views of our guests and does not constitute an endorsement by The Windward Institute or The Windward School.