College of Education

C.C. Bates named associate dean for research, graduate studies in College of Education


C.C. Bates (left) has hosted multiple Tigers Read! events alongside Dabo's All In Team Foundation and Scholastic. The initiative seeks to reduce the "summer slide," a marked degradation in reading skills many students experience during summer months.
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A highly regarded literacy researcher and longtime Clemson University faculty member has been named associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Education. C.C. Bates begins her tenure as associate dean effective immediately after serving as interim in the position since Fall 2022.

Bates arrived at Clemson in 2009 to serve as an assistant professor of literacy education and as director of the Clemson University Early Literacy Center for South Carolina. Since that time, she has earned more than $12 million in federal and state funding and authored more than 50 scholarly publications.

According to Kristin Gehsmann, dean of the College of Education, Bates has demonstrated outstanding leadership ability throughout her time at Clemson and as interim associate dean. Gehsmann said she looks forward to working closely with Bates to increase the research profile of the College and further develop its award-winning graduate programs.

“Dr. Bates is a skilled researcher and mentor; her colleagues appreciate her support and expertise as they explore funded research and outreach opportunities,” Gehsmann said. “I know Dr. Bates is also extremely student focused.  She cares deeply about our students’ experiences in their graduate programs, whether in-person, online or hybrid, and works tirelessly to ensure these programs are of the highest quality.”

Bates said the College of Education has implemented innovative delivery models for its graduate programs over the last several years, increasing enrollment. She recognizes that this increase in interest and enrollment brings new challenges and opportunities. She looks forward to leading continuous programmatic improvement efforts that focus on creating the number one student experience in the College’s hybrid and flexible courses and programs.

C.C. Bates
C.C. Bates, associate dean for research and graduate studies for the College of Education.

Regarding research, Bates said a culture of collaboration and innovation in the College will allow faculty and staff to meet the goals outlined in the Clemson Elevate strategic plan. She said the entire College recognizes the transformative power of research and the need to expand efforts to drive meaningful change. As a successful researcher herself, Bates has seen how outreach informed by research can tackle complex challenges and make a significant impact in schools and communities nationwide.

“I am excited to work alongside and support our exceptional faculty and staff, all of whom play a crucial role in achieving our goals,” Bates said. “Their expertise, diverse perspectives and commitment to the field are instrumental in addressing societal issues and shaping the future of education.”

Bates’ research agenda focuses on using digital tools to enhance and deliver professional development for reading interventionists and K-2 classroom teachers, which stems from her ongoing inquiry into the teaching of children who are having difficulty learning to read and write.

As director of the Clemson University Early Literacy Center for South Carolina, Bates was responsible for the daily operation of the center and its reading clinic and supervised 25 adjunct instructors who taught courses offered through the center for school districts statewide.

She is currently the principal investigator of two large external grants and has also received funding for eight years from Dabo’s All in Team Foundation. The foundation funds summer reading material for South Carolina first graders who received reading intervention through the Early Literacy Center. In addition to the books, each year, 250 of the participating students visit the Indoor Practice Facility for a special event.

Bates was also behind the development of the Record of Reading, an iOS app for oral reading assessment. The app resulted from an interdisciplinary partnership with Computer Science faculty and students and has been downloaded over 450,000 times. Additionally, she developed a Virtual Professional Learning Library (VPLL) for K-2 Classroom Teachers as part of an interdisciplinary partnership with the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies.

She has earned multiple Clemson University awards, including the University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award; the Board of Trustees’ Award of Excellence; the College of Education Researcher of the Year; and Professor of the Game.

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