Sep 24, 2020  
2018-19 Graduate Bulletin 
2018-19 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED]

Department of Elementary Education

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Elizabeth Vaughan, chair
Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center, Room 209
Phone: (936) 468-2904
Fax: (936) 468-1701

Mission and Objectives of the Department

The mission of the Department of Elementary Education is to prepare undergraduate and graduate candidates to meet the teaching demands of the culturally diverse 21st-century society. Through dynamic learner-centered programs that support academic success, candidates learn the pedagogy and technology necessary to create classrooms for children from birth through eighth grade.

Graduate course offerings are designed to improve the competence of early childhood, elementary and middle school teachers and to prepare them for a variety of positions. Undergraduate preparation is extended and enriched through courses that provide an opportunity to review current research in relevant fields, to conduct research in appropriate areas, to develop activities and curriculum materials, and to study emerging trends in elementary education, middle schools, early childhood development and reading (PK-12).

Additional teaching certification options are available for individuals with a degree in another field.

Graduate Faculty


  • Judy A. Abbott, Ph.D., University of Texas - Austin, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Carolyn Davidson Abel, Ed.D., University of Nevada-Reno, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Gloria Gresham, Ed.D., Stephen F. Austin State University, Educational Leadership
  • Elizabeth Vaughan, Ph.D., University of South Florida, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Michelle Williams, Ed.D., Stephen F. Austin State University, Educational Leadership

Associate Professors

  • Adam Akerson, Ed.D., University of Houston, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Mary Nelle Brunson, Ed.D., University of North Texas, Early Childhood
  • Lauren Burrow, Ed.D., University of Houston, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Susan Casey, Ph.D., University of North Texas, Early Childhood
  • Brandon Fox, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Tracey Hasbun, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Kimberly Welsh, Ed.D., Texas A&M University - Commerce, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Claudia Whitley, Ed.D., Lamar University, Educational Leadership
  • Tingting Xu, Ph.D., Florida State University, Curriculum and Instruction

Assistant Professors

  • James Ewing, Ph.D., Syracuse University, Teaching and Curriculum
  • Paula Griffin, Ed.D., Stephen F. Austin State University, Educational Leadership
  • Steven Josephsen, Ed.D., University of Virginia, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Leah Kahn, Ed.D., Lamar University, Educational Leadership
  • Mark Montgomery, Ph.D., Baylor University, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Susan Reily, Ed.D., University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Educational Leadership
  • Sarah Straub, Ed.D., University of Houston, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Vicki Thomas, Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, Education
  • Deborah Williams, Ed.D., Texas A&M University at Commerce, Curriculum and Instruction


  • Lori McGough Harkness, Ed.D., Waldon University, Administrational Leadership for Teaching and Learning

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are awarded each year in the department. For information and applications, contact the chair of the department.

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.8 for the last 60 undergraduate hours and a GPA of at least 2.75 for all undergraduate coursework. Acceptance of a major in elementary education depends on the department’s evaluation of a candidate’s background. Upon clear admission, a degree plan must be completed.

Candidates applying for the master’s with initial certification must take and pass the TExES Pre-Admission Content Test prior to admission. Candidates may complete the PACT for any of these areas: Core Subjects EC-6, Core Subjects 4-8. English Language Arts/Reading 4-8, Mathematics, 4-8, Science 4-8, or Social Studies 4-8.

Candidates in the M.Ed. program are required to make a grade of B or better in the capstone course:

  • Early Childhood - ECH 511  
  • ELE Standard Elementary - ELE 584  
  • ELE Content Emphasis - ELE 584  
  • ELE Reading Specialist - RDG 534  

All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six years.


Thesis Option

In any of the non-certificate programs listed below, candidates may select the traditional thesis option and reduce regular coursework by six hours.



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