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Nicole Patton Terry

Associate Professor    

B.S. in human communication sciences, Northwestern University, 1999
M.S. in learning disabilities, Northwestern University, 2001
Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders-learning disabilities, Northwestern University, 2004


Language and literacy
Learning disabilities


Nicole Patton Terry is the executive director of the Urban Child Study Center and an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education, and Communication Disorders in Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development. At the university, she is a member of the Center for Research on Atypical Development and the Board of Regents Initiative on Research on the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy. Terry is also an associate editor for the Journal of Learning Disabilities, a research scientist at Haskins Laboratories at Yale University, and a board member for the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.

Terry’s research interests concern young children with and without disabilities who struggle to acquire language and literacy skills, in particular children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and children living in poverty. The overwhelming majority of that work has focused on African-American children in preschool through 3rd grade who speak non-mainstream American English dialects and who attend early childhood centers and schools in urban areas. Her research and scholarly activities have included experimental, intervention and evaluation studies of reading, writing and oral language skills, instruction and professional development.

As the executive director of the Urban Child Study Center, Terry is responsible for creating and maintaining research-practice partnerships with diverse community stakeholders, including early childhood education centers, schools and school districts, state departments, philanthropic and nonprofit groups, and civic and business leaders. By taking a collective impact approach and leveraging the resources of the college and the university, the center strives to promote the overall development and school success of children and youth growing up in urban areas. Under Terry’s direction, the center has increased number, diversity and scope of research-practice partnerships between the college and various stakeholders in metro-Atlanta and across the state of Georgia.

Terry completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University in Communication Sciences and Disorders with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities.


Mansour, S, & Terry, N.P. (in press). Phonological awareness skills of young African American English speakers. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Terry, N. P., Mills, M., Bingham, G., Mansour, S., & Marencin, N. (in press). Oral narrative skills of African American pre-kindergarteners who speak Nonmainstream American English. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.

Terry, N. P. (2012). Dialect variation and phonological knowledge: Phonological representations and metalinguistic awareness among beginning readers who speak nonmainstream American English. Applied Psycholinguistics. Available on CJO doi: 10.1017/S0142716412000276.

Terry, N. P. & Connor, C.M. (2012). Changing nonmainstream American English use and early reading achievement from kindergarten to first grade. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 21, 78-86.

Terry, N. P., Connor, C. M., Petscher, Y., & Conlin, C. (2012). Dialect variation and reading: Is change in nonmainstream American English use related to reading achievement in first and second grade? Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 55-69.

Terry, N. P., Connor, C. M., Thomas-Tate, S., & Love, M. (2010). Examining relationships among dialect variation, literacy skills, and school context in first grade. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53, 126-145.