The Foundations Program is designed to address the educational needs of students in grades 6-12 with a primary diagnosis of dyslexia or other language-based learning difference(s). The program began in the fall of 2022 with a mission to recognize the special gifts that accompany dyslexia and build a foundation for future academic success by providing specially trained teachers, smaller classes with more individualized instruction, extended instructional time in core curricular areas, and systematic research-based language-related therapy. Program participants and their families are fully engaged members of the CAC community.
The Foundations Program curriculum is designed to prepare students to return to a traditional classroom and meets all requirements for participants to receive a CAC diploma. Our goal is to equip students to successfully transition to our standard academic program. While each student’s experience may differ, students may participate in the Foundations Program from one to six years.
Participants will be grouped with students of a similar age and learning profile for Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science/Social Studies instruction (6-9 grades only). Language Arts and Mathematics classes are extended 70-minute periods. Daily 45-minute language therapy is central to the program. Students are fully integrated into chapel, lunch, Bible class, physical education, fine arts, athletics, elective classes, and select academic classes with other CAC students.
Shelia Cruce, Director of Academic Support Services
Shelia Cruce administers the program in her role as Director of Academic Support Services. Shelia served for many years as the principal of our Pleasant Valley Campus before “retiring” and working as a special assistant to Dr. Lambert. She has a special interest in students with learning differences and has been a champion of these students over the years. Shelia got her start in education working as the director of therapy for Easter Seals Society of Little Rock after graduating from UALR with a BA in Speech Pathology. She also worked as a speech therapist in the Fayetteville Public Schools before spending over 10 years in the preschool classroom. She received her Master of Education degree from Harding University and served as principal at the PV Campus from 2002 to 2019.
Shelia and Terry have two children Holly and Hayden (CAC Athletic Director) and four grandchildren. Shelia and her family are long-time active members of the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ where Terry serves as an elder.
Tressa Ashberry, English/Language Arts Specialist
Tressa Ashberry serves as English/Language Arts specialist for the school’s Foundation Program. Tressa has served as a media specialist and elementary teacher during her 17 years at CAC, most recently as 5th grade teacher at our NLR campus.
Tressa graduated from Harding University in 1995 with a BA in Elementary Education and Special Education. She was recognized as the Outstanding Special Education Student during her senior year. She received her MS in Education from Nova Southeastern University with an emphasis in educational media. Her unique educational background and work experience, combined with her love of her students, set her apart for a role in the program.
Tressa is married to Sean. They have three children at our Secondary Campus, Jackson (10th), Callie (9th), Cooper (8th). Tressa is an active member of the Somers Avenue Church of Christ where Sean is the preaching minister.
Dr. Teresa Rogers, Mathematics Specialist
Dr. Teresa Rogers will serve as the program’s Mathematics specialist. As a Mathematics Educator, Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, and Gifted and Talented Coordinator with 20 years of experience in the K-12 setting and six years in the higher education setting, Dr. Rogers brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the program.
Dr. Rogers graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Computer Engineering. She received a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Education from the University of Phoenix.
Most recently, Dr. Rogers has served as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas -Pulaski Technical College and a mathematics teacher/coach with the Hannah School. She also taught in the Brooklyn, New York and Dallas, Texas public school systems. Dr. Rogers, her husband Michael and daughter Michaela (14) reside in Maumelle and are active in the ministry of the New Birth Baptist Church, where Michael is the pastor. Dr. Rogers has served in Christian ministry as a women’s ministry group leader and Bible class teacher.
Melissa Hannah, Educational and Language Therapist
Melissa Hannah has been contracted to serve as the program’s educational and language therapist. Melissa was the founder of the first and only fully accredited private school for individuals with language-based learning disabilities (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia) in the state of Arkansas. She received both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a certified Speech Language Pathologist and Academic Language Therapist.
Melissa has extensive experience providing diagnostic evaluations and screenings as well as individual and group therapy for school-age children. She has received specialized training in Multisensory Math, Sequential English Education, The Dubard Association Method, and numerous special education instructional methodologies. She has taught at the University of Central Arkansas and is the founder of H.E.R.E. which is dedicated to designing quality continuing education for parents, educators, speech language pathologists, and related professionals. In addition to providing daily group language therapy for our students, Melissa will provide support for CAC teachers and perform diagnostic evaluations.
Melissa and husband Brandon live in North Little Rock. She has three children, Malie (19), Murphy (18), and Colton (12). They are members of St. Patricks Catholic Church.
In addition to our standard admissions process, students who apply to the Foundations Program must provide 1) a full psycho-educational evaluation, which includes a test of intelligence, and 2) a test of academic achievement. Students must have a cognitive ability in the average to superior range.
Program Tuition and Fees
(CAC is an approved Arkansas Succeed Scholarship Program School)
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Minimum requirements for CORE Diploma1
English Language Arts 4 credits
- English 9
- English 10
- English 11
- English 12
Oral Communication ½ credit
- Communication (Personal or Professional)
Mathematics 4 credits
- Algebra IA
- Algebra IB
- Algebra II or Mathematical Reasoning2
Social Studies 3 credits
- American History
- World History
- Civics ½ credit
- Economics and Personal Finance credit ½ credit
Science 3 credits
- Physical Science
- Computer Science
Physical Education and Health 1 credit
- ½ credit Physical Education
- ½ credit Health & Safety
Fine Arts ½ credit
- ANSAA approved Fine Arts credit
Electives – 6 credits
- Literacy and Language Therapy
- Bible and Religion
1(Standards-Based; Aligned with State Requirements for Standard Diploma)
2 Dual Credit