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Department of Early Childhood Education

College of Education

ECED PhD Program Information

  • Doctoral Student Study Group
  • Doctoral Student Stephanie Stephanie Stephens honored
  • New publication with Chapters by Faculty Member Dr. Broderick
  • New Publication with Chapters by Faculty Member Dr. Geiken and Doctoral Student Sonia Yoshizawa

Early Childhood Program Vision

The vision of the early childhood program is to engage in and encourage lifelong learning and produce teachers, researchers and leaders who advocate for and create quality early childhood experiences in early care and education.

Early Childhood Education

The PhD program in Early Childhood Education will develop scholars and leaders in the field of early childhood. The program is guided by the conceptual framework of the Clemmer College, at East Tennessee State University, and the principles of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

We believe in the vision of NAEYC for educating early childhood leaders. Our candidates will demonstrate the knowledge and skills of the NAEYC Core Standards for Professional Preparation. Upon completing the program, the doctoral candidates are expected to demonstrate:
Knowledge and response to culture, language, and ethnicity;
Teaching knowledge to become early childhood leaders/professionals; Knowledge and application of NAEYC ethical principles;

  • Ability to access and integrate a wide range of professional resources leading to mastery of relevant theory and research;
  • Inquiry skills in conducting research;
  • Flexible, diverse skills to work collaboratively and effectively with others;
  • A mastery level of oral, written, and technological communication skills;
  • Comprehensive skills as an advocate for children and their families.

Download the PhD in Early Childhood Education brochure

PhD in Early Childhood Brochure

Inquire about availability of PhD Fellowships when applying. Typically fellowships are offered for 3-year periods.

The PhD requires 69-72 semester hours distributed as follows:

Core Courses
ECED-6100 Hist. and Theoretical Basis for ECE - 3 credit hours
ECED-6200 Implications/Trends & Dvlp. of Children- 3 credit hours
ECED-6300 Soc. & Cult. Diversity in Families- 3 credit hours
ECED-6400 Seminar in Prof. Dvlp. and Leadership- 3 credit hours
ECED-6600 Processes of Language & Literacy Learning- 3 credit hours
ECED-6610 Teaching & Learning Env. & Impacts- 3 credit hours
ECED-6620 Leadership, Admin. & Supervision in ECE- 3 credit hours
ECED-6630 Paradigms of Inquiry-Based Constructivism- 3 credit hours
ECED-6640 Critical Analysis of Brain Research- 3 credit hours
Other Credits

ELPA-7810 Educational Statistics- 3 credit hours
ELPA-7811 Quantitative Research- 3 credit hours
ELPA-7812 Qualitative Research- 3 credit hours
ELPA-7814 Analysis and Interp. of Research Designs- 3 credit hours
ELPA-7950 Advanced Research in EC and Seminar- 3 credit hours
ELPA-7000 Apprenticeship in Research (*required) - 3 credit hours
ELPA-7960 Dissertation (3 to 6 hours repeatable) - 3 credit hours
ELPA-7990 Readings and Research (1 to 3 hrs variable credit, if needed)

ECED-7000* Apprenticeship in Research (required as indicated under research)
*Choose one or two Apprenticeships in addition to ECED 7000 for a total of 3-6 hrs.

ECED-7001* Apprenticeship in University Teaching- 3 credit hours
ECED-7002* Apprenticeship in Dvlp. of Teachers - 3 credit hours
ECED-7003* Apprenticeship in Early Intervention - 3 credit hours
ECED-7004* Apprenticeship in Early Childhood - 3 credit hours


The three collateral courses must be taken in the same academic area, as determined by the student, doctoral advisor, and collateral area advisor.



A monograph Dr. Carol Trivette was working on for the DEC was published in October 2017.  Here she is receiving thanks from the DEC at their annual conference.

Trivette, C. M., & Keilty, B. (Eds.). (2017, October). DEC Recommended Practices: Family: Knowing Families, Tailoring Practices, Building Capacity. (DEC Recommend Practices Monograph Series No 3.) Washington, DC: Division for Early Childhood.


Dr. Ros
STEM bookcover of Geiken_Yoshizawaemary Geiken and several colleagues, including our PhD Student Sonia Yoshizawa, are co-authors of the following publication:

Counsell, S., Escalada, L., Geiken. R., Sanders, M., Uhlenberg, J., Van Meeteren, B., Yoshizawa, S. and Zan, B., (2015). STEM learning with young children: Inquiry teaching with ramps and pathways. NY: Teachers College Press.



Dr. Jane BroderBoystown Bookick
has co-authored three chapters with practicing preschool teachers in the following book.

Edwards, C. & Carotta, C. (2015) Listening to children, seeing possibilities: Stories from a Reggio inspired inquiry circle at Boys Town National Research Hospital and Beyond.  Omaha, NE: Boys Town National Research Center.



Dr. Pam Evanshen

In 1986, NAEYC, Early Childhood's professional organization, published a book, "Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs," which is a guide for serving children from birth through age 8. This book has been instrumental in the development of the field of Early Childhood Education.  In  2014, NAEYC added a new publication to focus on children in early elementary, "Developmentally appropriate practice: Focus on children in first, second and third grades." An article written by Dr. Evanshen and co-author Dr. Janet Faulk was chosen to be included in this publication. The focus of their work revolves around designing and using the physical classroom environment as a tool for teaching and learning.



Guillermo Mendoza, Katherine Madison, and Tara Voit attending the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2017. Guillermo and Katherine are both SREB Fellows, and Tara received a dissertation scholarship from the organization.









Doctoral Fellow Tsitsi Nyabando with NAEYC CEO Rhian Evans Allvin. Tsitsi received the Lasting Legacy Scholarship to attend the NAEYC Professional Learning Institute  in June 2017.







Isbell, R., & Yoshizawa, S. A. (2016).Nurturing Creativity: An essential mindset for young children’s learning. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young  Children.

  • This book is for early childhood teachers to reflect and discover how to tap into and scaffold children’s natural curiosity and creative abilities.
  •  Co-author Sonia Yoshizawa is an Early Childhood doctoral student.



Dr. Jane Tingle Broderick
Co-Coordinator PhD Program
Emergent Inquiry Certificate Program Coordinator
Professor ECED
Department of Early Childhood Education
Box 70548
Johnson City, TN 37614

Dr. Pam Evanshen
Department Chair of Teaching & Learning
Associate Director of Academics of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning & Development
Co-Coordinator PhD Program
Professor ECED
Department of Early Childhood Education
Box 70548
Johnson City, TN 37614

Fiona Goodyear
Graduate Program Specialist
Phone: (423) 439-6148


Spring & Summer 2017
Faculty Presentations & Publications

Broderick, J. (2017). Intentional teaching: Developmentally appropriate practices, United Way of Southwest Virginia. Offered in three locations in Southwest Virginia in April: Wytheville, Abingdon, and Big Stone Gap.

Broderick, J. & Ballantyne, K. (2017). Children’s perceptions of their social world. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.
Broderick, J. & Sareh, N. (2017). Science dance: Using movement and choreography to learn science. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Facun-Granadozo, R., Nyabando, T., & Sareh, N. (2017). Integrating the curriculum, like a pro. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Uhlenberg, J., Peterson, S. & Geiken R. (March 2017). Contents and containers: Exploring space. Head Start Region 9 STEM Conference, Reno, NV (invited presentation).

Nyabando, T.C. & Evanshen, P. (2017, June). The classroom’s physical learning environment: 2nd grade children's perspective. Poster presentation at the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Peterson, S., Uhlenberg, J, & Geiken, R. (March 2017) Inquiring minds want to know: Inquiry for early childhood. Head Start Region 9 STEM Conference, Reno, NV (invited presentation).

Geiken, R., Stephens, S., & Barnett, L. (July 2017). Let them inspire us: Observing infants and toddlers to plan curriculum with everyday materials. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport TN.

Hale, K. (2017). Talking it up with intention: Strengthening parents knowledge of language and early literacy. Keynote address for the 2017 Early Childhood Summit in Southwest Virginia.

Hale, K., & Pullen, P. (2017). Overcoming the effects of poverty and empowering parents. ETSU Maternal and Child Health Symposium, Johnson City, TN.

Lange, A., & Mano, H. (2017). Measurement in the garden: How to make math fun, accessible, and meaningful for young children.
Creative activity:
• Principal Investigator, SciMath-DLL Project,
• Principal Investigator, MASST,
• The early STEM informal education program, MASST, was highlighted in the newly published Ideabook for engaging families in public libraries (page 28):

White, W. & Malkus, A.J. (manuscript under review). Prioritizing affective development: Enhancing mathematical learning in the early years.
Creative activity:

Spring & Summer 2017
PhD Student Presentations & Publications

** Doctoral Students noted in bold font.

Boynewicz, K., Keithley, R. (2017). Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and implications for assessment and treatment for the NICU therapist. April 2017 National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT). Phoenix, AZ.

Dugan, A. & Galyon, C. (2017). Create a squishy book: Adapting books to make them accessible for everyone. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Dunlap, R. (2017). The whole child: How health, safety, and nutrition come together to impact children’s well-being. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport,TN.

Facun-Granadozo, R.; Nyabando, T.; & Sareh, N. (2017). Integrating the curriculum, like a pro. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Garrett, M. (2017). All you see is light: Thinking about light in early childhood classrooms. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Garrett, M. (2017). Seeing the world differently. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Johnson, M. (2017). Examining the impact of implementation of the comprehensive nutrition program, Rainbow in My Tummy, in the child-care setting, April 2017 Experimental Biology Conference, Chicago, IL.

Landy, C. (2017). Preschool teacher attitudes on outdoor education. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Mendoza, G. (2017). No entiendo. Communication and teaching strategies for DLLs/ELLs. ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Nyabando, T. (2017). Learning environments that support EACH child's learning. Association for Childhood Education International Institute of the Center for Education Diplomacy, Washington DC.

Nyabando, T.C. & Evanshen, P. (2017, June). The classroom’s physical learning environment: 2nd grade children's perspective. Poster presentation at the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Nyabando, T.C. & Evanshen, P. (2017, July). The classroom’s physical learning environment: 2nd grade children's perspective. Poster presentation at the ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Sareh, N. (2017). The effects of gender and type of board game on 4-year-old children’s engagement in play. Appalachian Student Research Forum, Johnson City, TN.

Voit, T.; Madison, K.; Nyabando, T. (2017). Teaching children social justice values and leadership: Beyond sharing and bullying. April 2017 University of Virginia/Wise Early Childhood Conference, Wise, VA.

Voit, T (2017). Teaching children social justice values and leadership: Beyond sharing and bullying. NEEIC, Portland, Maine.

Yoshizawa, S., & VanMeeteren, B. (2017, April). Young children investigate and engineer sound through STEM. Conference session at the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Zhao, H. & Trivette, C.M. (2017, July). Strategies to engage young children in early childhood classrooms. 2017 ETSU Annual Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Funded Projects
Boynewicz, K., (2017). NICU neonatal network scale training for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS): Research development.
• Role - PI; ETSU Presidential Grant-in-Aid award: $3,639.00

Boynewicz, K., (2017). Inter-professional scholarship to improve health and social outcomes for children with disabilities,
• Role: PI; Research Development Committee Minor Award, $1,500


College of Education

Clemmer College of Education Scholarships 2016-17

ETSU Main Campus - Warf-Pickel Hall

Contact Information:
Name: Dr. Kimberly Hale
Phone: 423-439-7503

Applications for ALL College of Education Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year is due by March 1, 2016.

Web Address (URL):


  • Criteria for Selection: *Demonstrated commitment to education
  • *Demonstrated good moral character
  • *Documented financial need


  • Criteria for Selection: *Priority given to Tennessee Residents
  • *Junior, Senior, or Graduate in Teacher Education
  • *2.8 GPA or above
  • *Demonstrated financial need considered
    *Show potential for successful teaching career


  • Criteria for Selection: *Candidate must be nominated by a committee made up of
  • a member from each College of Education department
  • *Must be a graduate student
  • *Emphasis will be given to students graduate academic record; undergraduate GPA is reviewed but is of lesser importance
  • *Promise of future contribution to teacher profession


  • Criteria for Selection: *Need Based
  • *Minimum GPA—2.5


  • Criteria for Selection: *Mini grant presented to Special Education student
  • *Mini grant for faculty or student for research in the Child Study Center
  • *Mini grant for training opportunities to regular and special educators in rural settings


  • Criteria for Selection: *Resident of Appalachian region
  • *Working on degree in Clemmer College of Education
  • *Documented financial need


  • Criteria for Selection: *Must be an undergraduate or graduate education major
  • *Preference given to students from Greene County
  • *Must have a 2.8 GPA on high school or college work
  • *Documented financial need
  • *$1,000 per student if funds are available, otherwise
  • College of Education will determine awards


  • Criteria for Selection: *2.8 GPA on all College work
  • *Documented financial need considered
  • *Must show high potential for career in teaching




Room 321 Warf-Pickel Room 105 Dossett Hall


School of Graduate Studies

Scholarships, Grants, and Assistantships

DEADLINES: All materials must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester - July 1
  • Spring Semester - November 1
  • Summer Semester - April 1

Sidney G. Gilbreath Scholarship

George L. Carter Scholarship

International Merit Scholarship

Quillen Graduate Scholarship

Regional Scholarships

Program Specific Scholarships: See the College of Education Tab on this PhD Program Web Page

Assistantship Information

Research Grants

Thesis and Dissertation Scholarships

Diversity Scholarships

Diversity Incentive Minority Scholarship

For information please contact:

Mary V. Jordan
Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity
Affirmative Action Director

Southern Regional Education Board

  • Doctoral Scholars Program
  • The program’s goal is to produce more minority Ph.D students who seek careers as faculty on college campuses.


Program Graduates

Teresa Boggs 2016

Teresa_BoggsTeresa Boggs is currently Director of Clinical Services for Speech-Language Pathology.

Dissertation Title: The effects of environmental modifications and visual supports in the home on engagement and challenging behaviors in children with autism.

Chair: Dr. Pamela Evanshen

Lori Hamilton 2016

lori-hamiltonLori Hamilton is currently teaching for an online program. 

Dissertation Title: Teachers perceptions of intensive professional development in the Daily Five™ in literacy instruction: A multiple case study.

Chair: Dr. Sharp

Charity Hensley

charity hensley photoCharity Hensley is currently a Full-Time Temporary Instructor in the ETSU Early Childhood Program.

Dissertation Title:  Use of the Physical Classroom Environment as a Teaching & Learning Tool Including the Impact of the Common Core State Standard Initiative in Kindergarten through Third Grade Primary Classrooms in Northeast Tennessee.

Chair:  Dr. Evanshen

Kim Cassidy

Kim Cassidy PhotoKim Cassidy recently accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Shawnee State University in Ohio.

Dissertation Title:  Determining if Grandparents as Primary Caregivers of Pre-K through Third Grade Students in Northeast Tennessee Perceive Delivery of Information and  Services as Effective in Decreasing Chronic Absence.

Chair: Dr. Malkus

Ruth Facun-Granadozo

DefenseRuth Facun-Granadozo is currently an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at East Tennessee State University.

Dissertation Title: Developing Mastery in Phonemic Awareness and Morphemic Awareness: A Multiple Case Study of Preservice Early Childhood Educators.

Link to article on Ruth's research in Illuminated, in the ETSU Graduate School student research magazine.

Chair: Dr. Sharp

Angie Baker

Angie Baker Fall 2014

Angie Baker is currently the Principal and Miller Perry Elementary School, Kingsport, TN.

Dissertation Title: An Exploratory Critical Study of Questioning Strategies Posed by Early Childhood Teachers During Literacy Blocks.

Chair: Dr. Sharp

Helen Lane

Helen Lane with Dissertation CommitteeETSU Early Childhood Faculty pose with Dr. Helen Lane, the first recipient of the ETSU Early Childhood Program PhD. Click here to read an article about Dr. Helen Lane receiving the first ETSU doctoral degree in Early Childhood in the Johnson City Press.

Dissertation Title: Influences of Caregiver-Child Interactions and Temperament on Cortisol Levels of Toddlers in Full-Day Childcare.

Chair: Dr. Gloeckler





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