Carol Nelson

Dr. Carol J. Nelson, Ed.D.

Professor of Literacy

  • SPH 272
  • Education & Kinesiology Division
Office Hours
Thu 1:00 - 5:00

Dr. Carol J. Nelson has been at Lewis-Clark State College since the fall of 1990. A graduate of Washington State University and University of Idaho, she has deep ties to the Pacific Northwest and the state of Idaho. Even though she was born in the midwest, she came as a young girl to Vancouver, Washington where she grew up in a country setting with her two older brothers and a passel of cousins.

Early on she knew she wanted to be a teacher as she gathered her cousins and neighborhood kids together to read stories and play school. After graduating from WSU, she taught 3rd and 4th grade at Sunnyside School in Pullman, Washington. This was where her love of literacy and helping children with reading disabilities began to take shape.

After spending 10 years at home with her two young daughters, she returned to graduate school to complete her masters and then a doctorate degree. Her goal was to teach at the college level - to teach the teachers so that they could give the best instruction to their students and help them in their literacy journey. Her research and disseration was in the area of emergent literacy - an area that she is passionate about.

After graduating with her doctorate in education with an emphasis in literacy and child development, her first position was at the University of Idaho at the Center for Disabilities and Human Development. There she began working on a grant - The Head Start Transition Project - which provided services for Head Start children as they began transitioning into the public schools. This grant was part of a national project with over 25 other states in the nation taking part. It afforded her the opportunity to travel many times to Washington D.C. and other places seeing how other universities and colleges set up these large research projects.

While at the CDHD, Dr. Nelson had the opportunity to write a grant in her area of expertise - emergent literacy. In 1996, this grant was funded and for the next four years she was the director for the Emergent Literacy Project. This project developed training materials and videos to train Head Start Programs in the western part of the United States in emergent literacy practices. She and her staff provided train the trainer workshops from Anchorage, Alaska to the Navaho Nation; from San Franciso, California to Laramie, Wyoming and all places in-between. One of her last workshops before taking her position at LCSC, was in Long Island, New York.

In the fall of 1990, Dr. Nelson was hired at LCSC as one of the literacy professors as part of the Literacy Act which was requiring all teachers in the state of Idaho to take a literacy course to be recertified and also all preservice teachers to take a literacy exam before they could be certified. She came to LCSC to develop the course for the teachers and to be a part of the state literacy committe which would develop the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment. Thus began her tenure with as she would state, "the best college in the west!" 

Dr. Nelson teaches several of the literacy classes in the Education Division. Her favorite class to teach is Children's Literature because she is able to read and purchase children's books and not have to explain why she is still reading picture books. She also teaches a course in the area of her dissertation - Emergent Literacy and a linguistics class - Psycholinguistics and Reading. In the fall of 2013 she began to teach a brand new course - Issues in Teaching in English as a Second Language. She embodies the ideal of a life long learner.

Carol is married to her best friend - Steve - for over 40 years. They have two married daughters and with those daughters were blessed with two son-in-laws. And blessings upon blessings come the grandchildren - Tristan, Sophie, and Stephen. Her library of picture books are being used with her grandchildren - Tristan loves "Nana's library in her office".