Cara Kelly portrait

Cohort: 2024

Curriculum Vitae

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Advisor(s):

Jason Hustedt

Specialization(s):

Early Childhood Education

Research Interest(s)

kindergarten readiness, quality in early childhood

Cara Kelly

Cara is currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences. Cara’s research interests broadly focus on quality in early childhood education and the transition to kindergarten. Throughout her career, Cara has had the opportunity to work on multiple research projects ranging from evaluating an afterschool program focused on teaching at-risk students social-emotional skills to providing professional development to elementary school teachers. Cara received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master of Education in Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy from the College of Charleston. After completing her doctorate, Cara hopes to continue working in academia and focus on research related to early childhood education.

Recent Publications

  • Tang, J., Kelly, C. L., & Pic, A. (2021). Toddler parents’ perceptions of early care and education arrangements. Children and Youth Services Review.
  • Gutshall, C. A., & Kelly, C. L. (2021). Noncognitive influences on talent development. In J. D. Swanson & M. Van Sickle (Eds.), Talent development in school: An educator’s guide to implementing a culturally responsive talent identification and development program (1st ed., pp. 203-216). Prufrock Press Inc.
  • Kelly, C. L., & Brock, L. L. (2021). Assessing the impact of teacher learning. In J. D. Swanson & M. Van Sickle (Eds.), Talent development in school: An educator’s guide to implementing a culturally responsive talent identification and development program (1st ed., pp. 261-279). Prufrock Press Inc.
  • Slicker, G., Tang, J., & Kelly, C. L. (2020). Workforce-, classroom-, and program-level predictors of quality in infant and toddler programs: How subsidized programs compare with other center-based programs. Children and Youth Services Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105675
  • Brock, L. L., Kim, H., Kelly, C. L., Mashburn, A., & Grissmer, D. (2019). Theory of mind directly and indirectly facilitates kindergarten adjustment via verbal ability, executive function, and emotion knowledge. Psychology in Schools, 56, 176-193. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22216
  • Kim, H., Cameron, C. E., Kelly, C. L., West, H., Mashburn, A., & Grissmer, D. (2018). Using an individualized observational measure to understand children’s interactions in low-income kindergarten classrooms. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 37(8), 935-956. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282918819579

Recent Presentations

  • Kelly, C. L. & Brock, L. L. (2021, April). Validating a teacher engagement scale for professional development. Paper session at the 2021 Marion Steele Research Symposium, April 23rd, Newark, Delaware.
  • Kelly, C. L., Slicker, G., & Hustedt, J. T. (2021, April). Contributions of mothers’ parenting behaviors to infants’ and toddlers’ social-emotional development. Poster session at the 2021 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), April 7th-9th, virtual conference.
  • Tang, J., Kelly, C. L., & Pic, A. (2021, April). Latent profile analysis of toddler parents’ perceptions of child care arrangements. Poster session at the 2021 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), April 7th-9th, virtual conference.
  • Slicker, G., Tang, J., & Kelly, C. L. (2021, April). Workforce and program features of quality: How does Early Head Start compare to other programs?. Paper presentation at the 2021 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), April 7th-9th, virtual conference.
  • Slicker, G., Tang, J., & Kelly, C. L. (2021, April). Comparing predictors of quality in infant and toddler early education programs operating in lower-income areas. Paper presentation at the 2021 meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 9th-12th, virtual conference.

Professional Experiences

  • Research Assistant, Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, 2019-2021
  • Program Evaluator, College of Charleston, 2017-2019
  • Research Specialist, College of Charleston, 2016-2017
  • Research Association, University of Virginia, 2012-2017

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Past Education

  • M.Ed. Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy, College of Charleston, 2016
  • B.S. Psychology, College of Charleston, 2012