Departmental Leadership

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction provides an array of services to the college including academic, communications, development, scholarships and research. Please use the links below to contact the chairperson or coordinator for the program listed.

Cheryl MurphyDepartment Head — Dr. Cheryl A. Murphy

Dr. Cheryl Murphy is head of the Curriculum and Instruction Department. She is a professor of Educational Technology. Since joining the faculty in 1996 she has held a number of administrative positions in addition to award-winning teaching, research and service. Her focuses are distance (online) learning, instructional design, faculty development, accreditation and assessment, and curricular integration of technology. Her doctorate, in Educational Psychology, and other degrees were earned at West Virginia University.



Sean ConnorsAssistant Department Head — Dr. Sean P. Connors

Dr. Sean Connors is the assistant department head of the Curriculum and Instruction. He is responsible for supporting the work of graduate assistants, collaborating with faculty to recruit and retain students, and supporting programs efforts to collect data for accreditation. He is an associate professor of English Education. His interests teaching and research interests include young adult literature, literary theory, multimodal literacies, English/language arts methods.



Jason EndacottCIED Ph.D and M.Ed Program Coordinator — Dr. Jason L. Endacott

Dr. Jason Endacott is the program coordinator for the M.Ed., Specialist and Ph.D. degree programs of the Curriculum and Instruction Department. He is responsible for student admissions, graduate assistant selection, course scheduling, program curriculum, and accreditation. He is an associate professor of Social Studies Education, and his research focuses on historical empathy. He holds degrees from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.



Betsy Orr

  Career and Technical Education Program Coordinator--Dr. Betsy Orr

  Dr. Orr teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in business education and career and technical education. She also       serves as the Program Coordinator for the Career and Technical Education program. Dr. Orr serves on several committees     at the college and university level. She is past chair of the University Academic Advising Council and the former Associate     Dean for Academic Affairs.



Heather KindallChildhood Education and Elementary Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Heather D. Young

Dr. Heather Young coordinates the Childhood and Elementary Education programs. These programs prepare students for initial licensure in grades K-6. Licensure comes on two paths: a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a master of arts in teaching degree in childhood education. An assistant professor, she also is director of the University of Arkansas Clinic for Literacy. Her interests include literacy assessment, children's literature, emergent and developmental literacy, as well as teacher preparation and retention.



Ed Bengtson

Educational Leadership Program Coordinator — Dr. Ed Bengtson 

Dr. Ed Bengtson coordinates the Educational Leadership program. This program prepares students for licensure as principals, superintendents or other administrative positions. EDLE offers master of education, doctor of education and educational specialist degrees. For holders of master's degrees, it has coursework leading to certificates in supervision. An associate professor, his interests include qualitative research, program evaluation, and "bridging the gap between the theory of leadership and the reality of practice" for principals and other administrators.



Rhett Hutchins

Educational Studies Program Coordinator — Dr. Rhett J. Hutchins

Dr. Rhett Hutchins coordinates the Education Studies program. It offers a bachelor of science in education, which focuses on the general theory and practice of learning and teaching. This degree, in itself, does not include licensure. Students completing this program will have the cognitive ability to apply teaching strategies to a variety of employers. He is a professor of Educational Studies. His interests include history of education, educational philosophy, young adult literature, disciplinary literacy, and dialogues between scientific and religious literacies.



Derrick MearsEducational Technology and CIED Ed.S. Program Coordinator — Dr. Derrick Mears

Dr. Derrick Mears coordinates the Educational Technology program, which offers both a certificate program and an online master of education degree. The M.Ed. in educational technology prepares students for professional positions as educational/instructional technologists and instructional designers in education, business, government, and the health professions. Dr. Mears, a clinical associate professor, is responsible for recruitment of students, advising, program reviews, admissions, and record maintenance.



Freddie Bowles

Secondary Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Freddie Bowles

Dr. Freddie Bowles coordinates the Secondary Education program. The master of arts in teaching in Secondary Education prepares teachers for middle and high schools in a wide variety of instruction areas. This M.A.T. comprises is a one-year, full-time program where students serve internships in area schools while completing courses. She is responsible for recruitment of students, advising, program reviews, admissions, and record maintenance. She is an associate professor of Foreign Language Education.



Peggy Whitby

Special Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Peggy Schaefer-Whitby

Dr. Peggy Schaefer-Whitby is the coordinator for the Special Education program. SPED offers bachelor of science in education and master of education degrees. The program also prepares teachers for teaching students identified as gifted and talented. Recently added are two certificate programs, one in Autism Spectrum Disorders and the second in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is responsible for recruitment of students, advising, program reviews, admissions, and record maintenance. Dr. Schaefer-Whitby is an associate professor.