About Us


Over a period spanning nearly 70 years, the McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic at Western Michigan University has provided numerous clinical, research and diagnostic services to a diverse population of children, university students and adults in our local and surrounding communities. Throughout its history, the clinic has continued to provide on-going functions while expanding services in literacy.

Our history: 

  • Homer J. Carter, an innovator in reading research and diagnosis, founded the Psycho-Educational Clinic in 1932 on the campus of Western Michigan University to provide clinical services.
  • Dorothy J. McGinnis succeeded Homer Carter as director in 1964, further expanding clinic services to the community as well as continuing to contribute to the development of reading theory and practice.
  • In 1970, the name was changed to the Reading Center and Clinic to better reflect an emphasis on diagnostic testing and support services.
  • In 1977, Dorothy E. Smith accepted the director position, followed by the appointment of Joe Chapel in 1988.
  • In 1996, the clinic was dedicated to Dr. McGinnis and renamed in honor of her numerous contributions to the field.

In more recent years, the clinic has served as a practicum experience for undergraduate and graduate students in diagnostic assessment and instruction. The goal is to continue to expand services and broaden community outreach efforts.

About our Director

Dr. Elizabeth Isidro

Dr. Isidro obtained her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Language and Literacy from Texas Tech University. She also engaged in more advanced work in literacy curriculum design, practice-based teaching, and research in literacy teacher education as a post-doctoral research associate also at Texas Tech University. Here at WMU, she continues to advance her work through her teaching, research, and programming of the McGinnis Reading Center. She has published in different journals such as Language and Literacy, Reading Teacher, Reflective Practice, and Journal of Curriculum Studies Research. Her research embodies the following themes: theory and practice of socially just literacy teaching, pre-service and in-service teacher development, literacy across the disciplines, multiliteracies for youth, families, and communities, children’s literature and reader response and critical and (de)colonizing ontoepistemologies.