Christie Cavanaugh

Specialized Education Services (SES) Department

Clinical Associate Professor, edTPA Coordinator, Co-Chair Collaborative for Educator Preparation (CEP)
Office: 418 SOE Building

Research Interest

  • early childhood, elementary and special education
  • language foundations of literacy
  • language and literacy development and facilitation
  • reading instruction and intervention
  • RTI and MTSS
  • evidence-based practices


  • Ph.D. in Special Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood and Reading, The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.Ed. in Special Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood and Language, Vanderbilt University
  • B.A. in Elementary and Special Education, Tusculum College


Christie L. Cavanaugh earned her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in Special Education with concentrations in early childhood and reading after teaching for several years and receiving her master’s degree from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Special Education (early childhood and language). She completed her undergraduate degree from Tusculum College with dual certification in special and elementary education. Dr. Cavanaugh has extensive experience teaching in a variety of settings, including early childhood, early intervention, early childhood special education, special education in elementary grades, and higher education at the University of Florida before arriving at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She has spent much of her career preparing future teachers and providing ongoing professional development to educators in the areas of language and literacy, with a particular focus on at-risk children and high-need schools in various contexts. She has been an educational consultant for schools, districts, and state departments to improve reading instruction and has supported schools in their efforts to implement effective, research- and evidence-based practices, including RTI or MTSS. Christie has maintained involvement with reading research centers in Texas and Florida and has written and presented nationally and internationally. She has also worked with colleagues to develop and revise statewide professional development programs and materials for elementary and special education teachers and administrators to enhance reading instruction and intervention for all students. Her work emphasizes the links between knowledge of language development and linguistic elements and literacy, particularly as they relate to facilitation of language in young children to support literacy development. As a faculty member in the department of Specialized Education Services at UNCG, she teaches undergraduate and graduate students and coordinates efforts to implement edTPA, a performance-based portfolio assessment for initial teaching licensure.

Link to Cavanaugh’s CV