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College Of Education And Human Development

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Harris-Gambrell Reading Center

Dr. Virgia D. Gambrell2
Dr. Virgia D. Gambrell
Dr. Harris
Dr. Joyce B. Harris






The Reading Center, as initially conceptualized by retired JSU reading professors Dr. Joyce Harris and Dr. Virgia Gambrell, evolved  in the 1970s as Reading Heights, the then Department of Reading’s signature program for enhancing the reading skills of students in primary through secondary grades through the School of Education at Jackson State University. The service of Drs. Harris and Gambrell through these and other facets of the Reading Center has been invaluable to the lives of many students and their families and to building the assessment and reading-based infrastructure of the College and University.  Named for Drs. Joyce Harris (Professor of Reading and former Associate Dean) and Virgia Gambrell (Professor of Reading and former Chair of Reading), the Harris-Gambrell Reading Center was dedicated on January 16, 2008 as the opening activity of the annual Ruth R. Searcy Literacy Conference.


The Harris-Gambrell Reading Center (HGRC) bridges the gap between early childhood, elementary education and higher education through specially designed reading activities that maximize the P-20 experience by involving a unique blend of early learners, college students and graduate students.

Services available for early childhood and elementary students include pre-tests, post-tests and interventions.  Instructional materials are provided to increase skill acquisition in decoding, fluency, and comprehension.  Services are provided during after-school and summer sessions to students in a reading clinic environment with the purpose of improving reading abilities.

Services are provided by certified teachers enrolled in the Master’s of Science in Reading program (along with pre-service teachers) under the guidance of faculty in the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education.  Students’ initial session include assessments to determine specific deficiencies that result in the development of a student profile and instructional reading plan.

HGRC staff works closely with students in the Lottie W. Thornton Early Childhood Center and Kids Kollege afterschool and summer programs.  The HGRC also includes a Mobile Reading Component whereby HGRC staff conducts on-site reading assistance for area early childhood and elementary students.

In addition to the individualized services provided to early learners, involvement of the family in the reading-enhancement process and connecting reading to real world experiences are central parts of the Center’s operations. Instructional sessions are designed to allow parents to participate in an effort to demonstrate how they may provide reinforcement and extension of skill instructional activities.


Dr. Tracy Harris serves as the Director of the Harris-Gambrell Reading Center (HGRC).  She is an associate professor in the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education with a current Mississippi Educator License for remedial reading (K-12) and psychometry (K-12).  To facilitate the services of the HGRC, undergraduate teacher education students and graduate students in the Masters of Reading Education and Doctor of Education programs assist with assessments, interventions, and workshops under the guidance of faculty in the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education.


Dr. Tracy Harris, Director

P. O. Box 18380

Jackson, MS 39217


Jackson State University

College of Education & Human Development

Joseph H. Jackson School of Education Building

SEB Room 310





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Our college is committed to preparing future educators, counselors, and leaders who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.

We offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs that provide students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience necessary to succeed in their chosen field. Our faculty are experienced professionals who are passionate about teaching and mentorship, and who are actively engaged in research that informs and improves their work in the classroom.

In addition to our academic programs, we offer a variety of resources and support services to help students succeed. Our Center for Student Success provides academic advising, tutoring, and other services designed to help students achieve their academic goals. We also offer a number of experiential learning opportunities, such as student teaching, internships, and service learning, that allow students to gain hands-on experience in their field.

At the College of Education and Human Development, we believe that education is the key to creating a better world. Whether you are interested in teaching, counseling, leadership, or any other field related to education and human development, we are here to help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Our Vision

The vision of the College of Education and Human Development is to be the premier Urban institution of choice within the state of Mississippi, the region, and the nation for the preparation of teachers, counselors and mental health professionals, professional development specialists, school leaders, and other school related professional practitioners with the latest in technology, best practices and as responsive educators with adaptive expertise.

We are also proud of our designation as a provider institution and partner with the U.S. PREP National Center for Educator Preparation Transformation.

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College Of Education And Human Development


College of Education and Human Development
1400 John R. Lynch Street
Jackson, MS 39217-0280

Phone: 601.979.2433

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