Mustang Learning Center for Youth

Our People


Melinda McGrath, M.Ed.

Director, Mustang Learning Center for Youth

Melinda McGrath, M. Ed., is the director of SMU's Mustang Learning Center for Youth and has been an instructional developer and reading coach at the Institute for Evidence-Based Education since 2003. Her areas of expertise are reading instruction, SRA Early Interventions in Reading, and teacher development. McGrath has taught the Coaching and Consultation course in the graduate-level Master Reading Teacher (MRT) program of the State Board for Educator Certification in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The MRT certificate program equips experienced teachers with the tools and knowledge to serve as reading resource specialists to both students and teachers in elementary schools.

In addition to teaching and coaching, McGrath has worked for more than 10 years as an instructional developer and coordinator on several research studies funded through the Interagency Educational Research Initiative. Including the Scaling Up Effective Interventions for Preventing Reading Difficulties research project, funded in 2003 under the IERI by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. McGrath assumed a lead role in preparing staff development materials and in delivering staff development to teachers participating in this research project. McGrath also serves as a reading coach to teachers who are implementing empirically proven practices in their instruction.

A former classroom, reading and special education teacher, McGrath received her M.Ed. from University of Houston, Victoria, Texas.

E-mail Melinda McGrath (click here)

Publications from Melinda McGrath

Mathes, P., Torgesen, J., & McGrath, M. (2005). SRA Early Interventions in Reading. Staff Development Guide. Level 2. SRA/McGraw-Hill.

Presentations by Melinda McGrath

Bills, D., Buss, C., Mathes, P., & McGrath, M. (October, 2006). Facilitating the Implementation of Evidence-based Reading Practices: The Role of the Reading Coach. Conference presentation at Council for Learning Disabilities, Mclean, VA.

McGrath, M., (July 2006). Effective Special Education. Conference presentation at National Reading First, Reno, NV.

McGrath, M., (Summer 2005-present). Techniques for Effective Intervention in Reading. Teacher Training Corps, U.S. Department of Education, Teacher to Teacher Initiative, National.

Buss, C. & McGrath, M., (2006). SRA Early Interventions in Reading, Level 1 & 2. Professional Development for ESL Teachers, Aldine Independent School District, Houston, TX.

Buss, C., & McGrath, M., (2005-2006). SRA Early Interventions in Reading, Level 1. Professional Development for Special Education Intervention Teachers, Maximizing Literacy Learning Among Children with Mild to Moderate Mental Retardation, Southern Methodist University in cooperation with Fort Worth Independent School District.

Buss, C., Denton, C., Hocker, J., & McGrath, M., (March 2006). Student Focused Coaching: The Skills for Success. Conference presentation at Center of Development and Learning, Plano, TX.

Buss, C., McGrath, M., & Ware, P., (June 2004). Proactive Beginning Reading: An Intervention for Preventing Reading Difficulties. Conference presentation at Texas Council for Exceptional Children, Houston, TX.

Susan Black, M.Ed.

Curriculum Coordinator and Lead Instructor, Math and Writing

With three Texas educator certifications, including Special Education K-12, Susan Black is dedicated to helping students of all ages achieve academic success. Her professional experiences have included project coordination of research grants, administration of youth technology and scholarship programs with Dallas-area schools, implementation of educator workshops and training seminars, and selection to district-wide strategic planning committees for curriculum and special education. Susan received her M.Ed. from Southern Methodist University with a specialization in gifted and talented education. Combining her two main areas of expertise in learning differences and giftedness, Susan consults and works on projects with twice-exceptional students. 

Reading, Writing, and Math Instructors at the Center

Instructors at the Center are highly skilled professionals in education. Our Instructors have their Teaching Certificates through the State of Texas and most have completed higher-level educational degrees. Center Instructors boast over 50 years of combined educational practice—our tutors bring experience, knowledge, and maturity to their instruction.