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. Details on the courses of study can be navigated from the Programs page.

Suzanne Kucharczyk

Department Head — Dr. Suzanne Kucharczyk

Dr. Suzanne Kucharczyk is the Interim Head of the Curriculum and Instruction Department (CIED). She is an Associate Professor of Special Education. Prior to becoming the Interim head of CIED she served as the coordinator for Inclusive Educational and Clinical Programs. She is a principal investigator of the U of A Teaming for Transition Grant. She holds the Chilton Foundation/Patti Bell Brown/Bonnie Bell Harding Endowed Faculty Fellowship.

Head shot of Dr. Ralston

Assistant Department Head — Dr. Christine Ralston

Christine Ralston, Ph.D., is the assistant department head for Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Ralston is a teaching associate professor of Elementary Education. She specializes in data informed decision making, clinical practice, and literacy. Her interests include educational policy and rural school partnerships for teacher preparation. Dr. Ralston teaches in the Elementary Education M.A.T. program.

Dr. 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.

Head shot of Dr. Marcia B. Imbeau

Childhood Education and Elementary Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Marcia B. Imbeau

Marcia B. Imbeau, Ph.D., coordinates the Childhood and Elementary Education programs. These programs prepare teacher candidates for initial licensure in grades K-6. Two licensure paths are available: a four-year bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a five-year master of arts degree in elementary education. Both programs include a yearlong internship experience. Dr. Imbeau is a professor of gifted education, teaching graduate courses. She is actively involved with University/Public School Partnerships.

Head shot of Dr. Alison Wilson

Educational Leadership Program Coordinator — Dr. Alison Wilson

Dr. Alison Wilson coordinates the Educational Leadership program, which prepares students for licensure as principals, superintendents or other PK-12 administrators. EDLE offers Master of Education, Education Specialist, and Doctor of Education degrees as well as non-degree administrative licensure programs of study for those who already hold a graduate degree. As an assistant professor of practice, Wilson teaches courses in EDLE and conducts research that examines how U.S. schools perpetuate systematic inequities, including the school structures, norms, policies and practices that contribute to student marginalization and opportunity gaps. She also examines formal and informal U.S. education policy through various methods of critical policy analysis.

Head shot of Dr. Rhett J. 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.

Head shot of Dr. Derrick Mears

Educational 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.

Head shot of Dr. Christian Z. Goering

Secondary Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Christian Z. Goering

Christian Z. Goering, Ph.D., coordinates the Secondary Education programs. The Secondary Education Program offers at Bachelor of Arts in Teaching with majors in five subjects. The Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education prepares K-12 teachers in a wide variety of instruction areas. Goering, a professor of Curriculum and Instruction, is currently the chair of the English Language Arts Teacher Educators, director of the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project, faculty director of the Center for Children and Youth, and holds a faculty affiation with the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Public Policy.

Head shot of Dr. Renee Speight

Special Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Renee Speight

Dr. Renee Speight coordinates the Inclusive Educational and Clinical Programs. These programs include Special Education, Gifted Education, and Teaching English to Students of Other Languages, each of which are also led by faculty in these disciplines. The Special Education program offers a bachelor's in special education leading to an initial license, master's in special education with coursework leading to an initial license or endorsement, endorsements in three specialties, and graduate certificates in three fields. An assistant professor, Dr. Speight also is the principal investigator of the Resource Teacher Academy and a co-principal investigator of the U of A Leaders for Transition preparation grant.

Head shot of Dr. Michael K. Daugherty

STEM Education Program Coordinator — Dr. Michael K. Daugherty

Michael K. Daugherty, Ed.D., coordinates the STEM Education program. The program’s mission is to prepare a workforce to advance the understanding and communication of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in careers such as elementary and secondary education and related fields. The program offers a graduate certificate in elementary STEM Education and an undergraduate minor and certificate in secondary STEM Education. Dr. Daugherty is a professor of STEM Education and director of Innovative Career Education. He speaks internationally on STEM education, technological literacy, technology and engineering education, problem-based learning, and curriculum development.