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Department of Early Childhood Education

College of Education

ECED PhD Program Information

  • May 2019 Graduation 
Dr. Trivette, Hongxia Zhao, Dr. Sharp and Rebekah Taylor
  • New Publication: Teaching STEM in the Preschool Classroom 

Co-authored by 
PhD Faculty, Dr. Alissa Lange
  • Dr. Trivette and her colleague Bonnie Keilty, PhD (Hunter College) are working on the FamSCLE (Family Strengths Constructing Experiences) project that builds on the families’ existing strengths or strategies to support children’s learning.
  • 2019 
The Dissertation Research Grant and 
Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship
awarded to Doctoral Fellow Narges Sareh 
for excellence in research

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 BroderickBoystown Book
 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.


Tsitsi Nyabando reTsitsi Nyabando receives NAECTE Award cently received the Doctoral Dissertation Scholarship from NAECTE. This scholarship awards financial support for the process of data collection and analysis of her dissertation.  Her research is centered on the early childhood physical learning environment with a focus in elementary schools. For her dissertation she is investigating second graders’ perceptions about their classroom physical environment. Her other research interests are boy behavior and family engagement. Her projected graduation date is  the end of the summer 2019.


 Narges Sareh

Doctoral fellow Narges Sareh received the 2018 Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research for her paper “Gender Differences in Preschool Teachers’ Math Talk with Children.” The paper was written as a part of Dr. Lange’s quantitative research class, ECED 7811.




Tara Tsitsi Katherine present at NAEYC Katherine Madison, Tara Voit and Tsitsi Nyabando presenting at the NAYEC conference in Washington, D.C. November 2018

Doctoral Students meeting Sue BredekampEarly Childhood doctoral students meeting Dr. Sue Bredekamp at the NAECTE conference, November 2018

Students and faculty at ACT 2018Early Childhood faculty and doctoral students at the ACT conference in Columbia, S.C. October 2018 

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 of Early Childhood Education
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


Fall 2018
Faculty Presentations & Publications

** Faculty noted in bold font.

Broderick, J. T., Aslinger, R., & Hong, S. B. (2018).  Baking cookies: Using emergent curriculum to explore physical science and measurement, Science & Children, v 56, n 4, pp. 34-44.

Broderick, J., Hong, S. (2018). “The Cycle of Inquiry System and CLASS, and their relationships to productive conversations.” Association for Constructivist Teaching, Columbia, SC.

Broderick, J., Sareh, N., Hong, S. (2018). A cycle of inquiry system training: Teachers’ productive conversations and CLASS. National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators, Washington, DC.

Evanshen, P. & Faulk, J. (in-press).  Room to learn: Classrooms designed for interactive explorations.

Evanshen, P. (2018) Leading teachers in prek-3 in designing the primary classroom to support learning. Paper presented at the National Association of Elementary School Principals Conference, Orlando, FL.

Evanshen, P., Crowe, T., Baum, A., Parnell, W., Baker, K., DiCarlo, C. Lake, V., Williams, R., McMurray-Schwarz, P., Taylor, L., Casey, E., Wolf, A., Branscombe, A., LaParo, K., Lin, M. & Davis, J. (2018). National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) Conference and Meeting: Leading the way and advocating for quality through early childhood teacher education.   

Nyabando, T. & Evanshen, P. (2018). Involving 2nd grade students in gaining an understanding of classroom physical learning environments that foster their learning and development. Paper presented at the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

Facun-Granadozo, R., Abutaeb, A., Alaofin, B., & Kwaitoo, L. (2018).  Perspective-taking: The joys, challenges, and hopes of early childhood education in four countries (Ghana, Nigeria, The Philippines, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC.   

Facun-Granadozo, R. & Ahmed, T. (2018). Co-planning: Lessons learned and future directions. Association for Constructivist Teaching, Columbia, SC.

Facun-Granadozo, R. (2018). The development of early childhood teacher candidates’ general pedagogical knowledge during extensive residency experience. National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators Foundation, $2,000. Funded.

Brenneman, K., Lange, A. A., & Nayfeld, I. (2018). Development and refinement of a professional development model for preschool teachers to improve STEM teaching for DLLs and all learners. Early Childhood Education Journal,

Lange, A.A. (2018). Order! Compare! Estimate! Building knowledge and excitement about foundational math concepts for preschoolers. Invited speaker at the Children Together’s annual teacher workshop, Arlington, VA.

Lange, A.A. (in-press).  The worms are dancing! An integrated STEM learning  experience with preschoolers. Science and Children.

Johnson, M., Malkus, A. (2018) A scale to measure nutrition knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors in preschoolers: Design and validation. National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC.

Trivette, C.M. & Boynewicz, K. (2018) Building capacity and tailoring practice with families as foundation for providing best practices in early intervention services under IDEA. Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Chattanooga, TN.

DEC Recommended Practices Group (2018). Creating and updating the DEC recommended practices: The inspiration and the challenge keynote.  DEC 34th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families. Transforming imagination into Innovation: Impacting outcomes for young children, families, & professionals. Orlando FL.

  • Dr. Trivette is a member of this group.

Keilty, B., Trivette, C.M., & Kenealy, J. (2018). Innovations in strengths-based early intervention: Start with how families construct learning experiences. DEC 34th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs & Their Families, Transforming Imagination into Innovation: Impacting outcomes for young children, families, & professionals. Orlando FL.

Trivette, C.M. (2018). Finding your voice: Working with professionals to meet your child’s needs. Developmental Disabilities Family Workshop, Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, Johnson City, TN.

Fall 2018
PhD Student Presentations & Publications

** Doctoral Students noted in bold font.

Boynewicz, K., (2018). Motor development and abilities of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.  International Conference on Infant Studies, Philadelphia, PA.

Boynewicz, K., Jones, J., Rary, K., Sperapolus, K., Hollinger, S. (2019).  Interprofessional care and infant motor performance and neurobehavioral outcome measures for treatment of an infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS): A case report.  Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, Washington, D.C.

Evanshen, P. Rubayyi, F., Ahmed, T., Mendoza, G. Tian, Q., Edokhamhan, E.  Castanon, K., Hatcher, A., Bilbrey, J., Copeland, R. & Lazarova, K. (2018). The teaching and learning environment: Impact on children, families, and teachers.  ETSU Early Childhood Conference, Kingsport, TN.

Dunlap, R.  (2018). Can the addition of a classroom pet and the implementation of the Project Approach impact young children’s social-emotional development?  Association for Constructivist Teaching, Columbia, SC.  

Madison, K., Nyabando, T.C. & Voit, T.  (2018). Discriminatory discipline practices – Addressing discipline gaps between gender, socioeconomic status, and race: Narrowing discipline gaps and decreasing disparities in preschool suspensions. National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, D.C. 

Nyabando, T.C. & Sareh, N. (2018). Active boys: Global perspectives on fostering early childhood classrooms where boys' development and learning thrive. National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC. 

Voit, T., Madison, K. & Nyabando, T.C. (2018). Guiding children in balance: Social justice values and leadership. National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, D.C. 

Mensah-Bonsu, P., Sareh, N., Broderick, J. (2018) Increasing preschool teachers’ productive conversations using a cycle of inquiry system. National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators, Washington, DC.

Nyabando, T.C. & Evanshen, P. (2018). 2nd grade students' perspectives of the physical learning environment. Association for Constructivist Teaching Conference, Columbia, SC.

Sareh, N., Nyabando, T.C., Tian, Q. Ahmed, T. (2018). Young children’s social emotional development in different cultures: A cultural view from China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe. Association for Constructivist Teaching Conference, Columbia, SC.

Sareh, N., Lange, A. (2018).  The influence of children’s gender on preschool teachers’ math talk in the classroom. National Association for Education of Young Children, November, 2018.

Broderick, J., Sareh, N., Hong, S. (2018).  A cycle of inquiry system training: Teachers’ productive conversations, and CLASS. National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators, Washington, D.C.

Isbell, R., & Yoshizawa, S. A. (2018). What does the world need now? Creative young children who can communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC.

Peterson, S., Ashbrook, P., Hoisington, C., VanMeeteren, B., Yoshizawa, S. A., Chilton, S., & Robinson, J. (2018). To pin or not to pin: Choosing, using, and sharing science resources online. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC.


Clemmer College

Clemmer College Scholarships 2016-17

ETSU Main Campus - Warf-Pickel Hall

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

Applications for ALL Clemmer College 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 Clemmer College 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
  • *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
  • Clemmer College 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 Clemmer College 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:

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

Michael Garrett 2018

Michael Garrett PhD GraduateMichael Garrett is currently teaching in the Math and Statistics Department at ETSU.

Dissertation Title: Seeing the World Differently. An Exploration of a Professional Development Model Bridging Science and Lay Cultures.

Chair: Dr. Broderick

Rebekah Taylor 2018

Rebekah Taylor PhD GraduateRebekah Taylor

Dissertation Title: A Mixed Methods Exploration of East Tennessee Early Childhood Teachers’ Perceptions, Knowledge, Practices, and Resources of Critical Literacy.



Chair: Dr. Sharp

Hongxia Zhao    2018

Hongxia Zhao PhD GraduateHongxia Zhao is currently working with Dr. Songtian(Tim) Zeng at the University of Massachusetts, Boston on a project focusing on family support for quality of life for Chinese families with young children with autism.

Dissertation Title: Examining Contributors to Preschoolers’ Classroom Engagement using Structural Equation Modeling.

Chair: Dr. Trivette

Stephanie Stephens 2018

Stephanie Stephens phd graduateStephanie Stephens

Dissertation Title: Teachers’ response to infants’ nonverbal communication and use of response to facilitate a dialogue.



Chair: Dr. Geiken

Cathy Landy  2018

Cathy Landy PhD GraduateCathy Landy is currently working as a contractor for the Upper TN River Roundtable as a Save Our Streams coordinator

Dissertation Title: The State of Outdoor Education in Northeast Tennessee: Preschool Teacher Attitudes Toward Outdoor Education.

Chair: Dr. Malkus

Jennifer Lynberg 2018

Jennifer Lynberg PhD GraduateJennifer Lynberg

Dissertation Title: Teachers and their perceptions about
adaptive skill training within an Early Childhood comprehensive development classroom for students
with intellectual disabilities.


Chair: Dr. Trivette

Brandie Maness 2018

Brandie Maness PhD GraduateBrandie Maness is currently a teacher.

Dissertation Title: Preschool Teachers’ Perceptions of Children Prenatally Exposed to Drugs.



Chair: Dr. Trivette

Gina Wohlford 2018

Gina Wohlford PhD Graduate 2017Ginal Wohlford is currently Superintendent of Norton City Schools, Norton, VA.

Dissertation Title: Observation and Interpretation: Teachers’ beliefs and the impact of intervention on teachers’ meaningful conversations with children in preschool programs

Chair: Dr. Broderick

Michelle Johnson 2017

Michelle Johnson graduate 2017Michelle Johnson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition Program, Department of Allied Health Sciences, ETSU. She is also Dietetic Intern Director.

Dissertation Title: Design and Validation of a Scale for Preschoolers:
Measuring Nutrition Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors.

Chair: Dr. Malkus

Kim Austin 2017

Kim Austin PhD Graduate 2017Kim Austin is currently an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Southwest Virginia Community College.

Dissertation Title: Parental Perceptions of Preschool Age Children’s Literacy Development in a Rural Appalachian Community.

Chair: Dr. Hale

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. 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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