Melanie Acosta

Melanie M. Acosta works for the educational well-being of Black children, families and communities through careful study of teacher practice. Currently, Dr. Acosta is an Associate Professor of Education and her research, teaching and service centers African American educational philosophies, principles, and processes in teaching and teacher education. Her research and theorizing are featured in academic journals such as Urban Education, Equity & Excellence in Education and The Journal of Teacher Education. Her writing is also featured in community outlets such as the Children’s Services Council 2021 Family Resource Guide, Diversity in Education Magazine, and the Culturally Responsive, Evidence-Based Strategies for Traumatic Stress (CRESTS) Concept Paper Series.

Dr. Acosta is also Co-Founder and Executive Director of Liberate Literacy, a community-rooted initiative purposed to produce “Better Literacy Learning Options For Black People” through increasing Black ownership of the literacy attainment and growth trajectory of Black children. Before her work as a university professor, Melanie was an elementary school teacher and a community organizer for a grassroots parent empowerment group.

Research Interests

  • Black Studies/Africana Studies in Teacher Education
  • African American educators/education
  • Qualitative Research
  • Elementary Literacy
  • Family & Community-engaged schooling


Ph.D. (2013)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Curriculum & Instruction
Specialization: Curriculum, Teaching, & Teacher Education
Dissertation: A Culture-Focused Study with Accomplished Black Educators on Pedagogical Excellence for African American Children.
M.Ed. (2009)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Specialization: Special Education & Literacy
Focus: Culturally Relevant Literacy Instruction and Intervention for African American elementary readers.
Focus: Literacy instruction and intervention, Culturally diverse readers
B.S. (2002)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Major: Public Relations/ Journalism
Minor: Business Administration

Melanie Acosta

Melanie Acosta

Associate Professor
Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Office Location: ED 47 - 475
Campus: Boca