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Associate Degree Early Childhood Teacher Educators

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Our Mission

  • Foster cooperation and coordination among professionals at all post-secondary institutions with a common interest in instruction and learning in early childhood.
  • Promote the acquisition of a core body of knowledge at the associate degree level.
  • Serve as active participants in an interrelated continuum of professional growth and education for children and families.
  • Work with practitioners to ensure the availability of quality early care and education for children and families.
  • Provide a professional network for sharing knowledge and support among early childhood educators at associate degree granting institutions.
  • Address issues and concerns of members and promote the professional growth and education of early childhood practitioners.
  • Collaborate with national organizations concerned with the study and education of young children.
  • Promote and advocate for quality in early childhood care and education.


President: Anu Sachdev, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty, East Stroudsburg University 

Dr. Anu Sachdev’s professional experience spans over 48 years in the field of early childhood as a teacher, center director, faculty, program director of a local teacher training program at community college, consultant and a researcher. She has served on the ACCESS board both at the state and national level in a variety of roles. She is a passionate advocate for the field, currently serving as the Vice President on the board of the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, a school board member and president of the local chapter of PennAEYC. Anu loves to travel internationally to learn about early childhood education in global contexts. Her current research interests center around transition to school for Asian families. She enjoys reading, cooking, spending time in nature and visiting with friends.

President Elect: Dr. D'Lee Babb

Associate Professor, Western Kentucky University

D’Lee Babb serves as an Associate Professor of ECE and Child Studies at Western Kentucky University where she teaches courses in Early Childhood Education and Child and Family Services. D’Lee has taught in preschool, toddler, and infant classrooms, led teacher trainings, and worked with early interventions. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Sciences from Oklahoma State University (dissertation: Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Practices in Oklahoma Public Schools: Influence of Teacher and Principal Beliefs and Characteristics). Her current research interests are third culture children in public preschools, developmentally appropriate practices in public preschools, and teacher education. She is involved with the NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation system and is the President Elect for ACCESS.

Shared Knowledge in Practice (SKiP) Call Coordinator, Teacher Research Liaison, and Commissioner for ACCESS on the Commission on Professional Excellence in Early Childhood Education: Debra Murphy, Ph.D

Professor, Teacher Education and Child Development, Cape Cod

Debra has been a professor at Cape Cod Community College for over 30 years. She is a past president of ACCESS, and also served as VP of Professional Development. She is an editor for Voices of Practitioners and represented ACCESS on the Power to the Profession. 

Secretary: Dr. Katherine Abba

Professor, Teacher Education and Child Development, Houston Community College

Dr. Katherine Abba (Kathi) has been with Houston Community College for 25 years, as part-time and full-time faculty in Child Development and Teacher Education. Katherine also served as the Program Coordinator for both disciplines for a total of 9 years. In addition to teaching in a professional preparation program for early childhood educators and PK-12 teachers, her background includes teaching deaf/hard of hearing children, High Scope curriculum trainer, reading tutor, and education specialist for the Department of the Army Childcare. She holds a BA in Elementary Education, an MA in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Reading and Writing. Katherine is an ardent supporter of effective early learning for all children and their future educators, as is ACCESS. She aspires to help society value early childhood care and education and its professionals.

VP of Professional Development: Dr. Jennifer Koel

Early Childhood Education Instructor, Waukesha County Technical College

Dr. Jennifer Koel, has been an Early Childhood Education Instructor at Waukesha County Technical College for 18 years. When working with college students, she’s passionate about creating a Higher Ed learning community where active educational experiences shape not just understanding, but empathy and connection. With vast experience spanning from infants to elementary-aged children, she’s a champion for developmentally appropriate practice. Endorsed in infant and early childhood mental health, Dr. Jenn advocates for raising awareness and knowledge in this vital field. Additionally, she actively contributes to the National Association for the Education of Young Children's Higher Education Accreditation system and serves as the Vice President of Professional Development for ACCESS, demonstrating her commitment to educational excellence and professional growth. Beyond her professional endeavors, Jenn enjoys traveling to visit her three adult children and finds solitude in nature.

VP of Membership: Tricia McKay

Program Director, Child Development and Early Education , Lansing Community College

Tricia holds a Bachelor's Degree in Family Community Services from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies with a concentration in Teaching Adults from Walden University. Tricia has worked in the field of early childhood education for 30 years and in higher education for the past six years. She began her career teaching in a classroom with two-year-olds, and today she continues to enjoy teaching infant and toddler college courses. Tricia’s work is built on the foundation of building strong relationships, as well as advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Through collaboration and connection, Tricia supports students in achieving their educational goals, and partners with faculty to create meaningful, high quality learning opportunities for all students.

VP of Communication, SKiP Call Coordinator: Danielle Savory Seggerson

Professor, Child Development and Early Education , Lansing Community College

Danielle is current a professor at Lansing Community College in the Child Development and Early Education program. Her training is in early childhood education and special education from Cornell University and Bank Street College. She spent ten years in the early childhood classroom (including progressive, laboratory, inclusive, and public school settings) before transitioning to higher education. Her passions include course design and assessment. Danielle is currently the President of Michigan ACCESS and VP of Communication for National ACCESS. She appreciates collaborating with colleagues as part of ACCESS to help improve teacher education across the country.

VP of Collaborations: Ronda Hawkins

Early Childhood Professor, Sandhills Community College

Ronda Hawkins is a passionate early childhood educator dedicated to fostering nature-based play and learning experiences for young children. With over 30 years of expertise in the field, Ronda holds a master’s degree in early childhood education. She is currently serving as a distinguished professor in the early childhood program at Sandhills Community College. Ronda has been a member of ACCESS for many years and has served on the ACCESS board in prior years as the NC Affiliate Representative and as a Nominating Committee member. As the NC Great Teachers Seminar Coordinator, Ronda continues to engage in professional development activities. She credits the Great Teachers Seminar as the most impactful experience in shaping her teaching approach. She is looking forward to sharing aspects of that seminar at ACCESS gatherings.

ACCESS: Associate Degree Early Childhood Teacher Educators

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