Rochester Christian University


Dr. Cynthia S. Clark

Program Chair – Department of Early Childhood Education
Associate Professor of Education

School of Education
Associates Campus Center (CC) 208
(248) 218-2345


  • Ph.D. Education: Early Childhood Education, Oakland University
  • M.A.C.T., Michigan State University
  • B.S. & Z.A., Oakland University, cum laude

Courses Taught

  • Constructive Education to Create Developmentally Appropriate Learning Environments
  • Curriculum and Content Areas in Early Childhood
  • Diversity Topics in Early Childhood
  • Assessment of the Young Child
  • Emerging Language & Literacy
  • Leadership & Administration in Early Childhood
  • Math & Science for Young Children
  • Creative Arts for Young Children
  • Early Childhood Learning and Standards
  • Children’s Literature
  • Family Education and Advocacy
  • Ethics for Early Childhood
  • Recognizing & Serving Children Facing Challenges

Professional Training & Affiliations

  • Zero to Three Training of Trainers Certification, The Growing Brain: From Birth to 5 Years Old, 2018
  • Project Zero Classroom (PZC) Professional Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2018
  • Member, American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Member, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Member, Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)

Publications & Presentations

  • Presenter, The Child’s Brain and Everyday Play. Presentation, HighScope International Conference, Detroit, 2019.
  • Presenter, The Child’s Brain and Everyday Play. Presentation, Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, 2019.
  • State Team Member, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Public Policy Forum, Washington, D. C., 2019, 2021
  • Co-Presenter (Claxton, J., Homant, K., DeHooghe, L, Gardner, S., Wakabayashi, T., & Clark, C.), Identifying literacy-promoting strategies in publicly-funded preschool classrooms. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New York, 2018.
  • Webinar Facilitator: Conference follow-up webinar for Prof. Tomoko Wakabayashi, featuring Dr. Jennifer Champagne, Oakland Schools Five Critical Practices to Promote Social-Emotional Wellness, 2018.
  • Invited Presenter, Tokyo Gakugei University Preschool, Japan, Oakland University and Dr. Tomoko Wakabayashi, 2018.
  • Invited Professional Development Presenter, Early Childhood Self-Regulation Development Workshop, Grand Blanc Community School District, 2017.
  • Author (manuscript proposal submitted but not yet accepted) The Side Effects of the Changing Role of Kindergarten, 2022
  • Author (dissertation), Disconnect Between Beliefs and Realities: Intra- and International Comparison of Kindergarten Play Area, Child-Selected and Teacher-Directed Activities, and Value Placed on Readiness Skills, 2020


Cynthia was born 2nd of ten siblings, so she has always been around young children and hopes to always be around young children. She is blessed with four talented and adventurous adult children and now enjoys spending a lot of time sitting on the floor with husband Ken, playing with four precious grandchildren.

Cynthia is a former preschool, kindergarten, and first grade teacher, GSRP preschool director, and preschool owner. Her personal mission is to make the world a better place for as many children as possible, and one way she intends to do that is through serving the Adjunct Instructors and the Early Childhood Education students here at Rochester Christian University.

When Michigan weather permits, Cynthia enjoys running on local trails, gardening, and Plein air painting with oils, acrylics, and pastels. She and Ken love northern Michigan’s beaches, dunes, woods, and small towns.