History and Philosophy
Coleman Center for Early Learning and Family Enrichment (Coleman Center) was established in 2019 by Troy University’s College of Education and College of Health and Human Services. Both colleges have a long-standing history of concern, commitment, and involvement in programs for young children and their families. This commitment is exemplified through the university’s mission of educating the mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act. This mission is accomplished through teaching, research and outreach. Teacher candidates and other students who are training in related fields observe and study the developmental characteristics of young children while gaining invaluable clinical experiences and an in- depth perspective of the early childhood industry as a career in education, health, or human services.
Conveniently located on the pristine campus of Troy University, Dothan.
Coleman Center is a 14,000 square foot facility providing state-of-the art features to 92 children and families.
- Gross motor indoor room
- Individual playgrounds for infants/toddlers and preschool
- Exam rooms which allow privacy for nursing mothers and children receiving on-site speech, occupational, physical therapy, etc.
- Extra-large preschool classrooms equipped with developmentally appropriate resources and educational technology (4)
- Infant room (1)
- Toddler room (2)
- Laboratory/Research classroom featuring technology to enhance the learning process for faculty, teacher candidates, teachers and children
Pre-K 3 Classroom with a STEAM focus.
Our gross motor room provides lots of indoor fun.
Our exam rooms provide privacy for breastfeeding mothers, therapy and health exams.
- Facility is locked 24/7, with an electronic entry system
- Security and educational cameras inside and outside the facility
- Campus security- 24/7
- Intruder, fire, severe weather drills routinely performed
- ICC-500 Shelter – provides safety for winds up to 250 mph
Coleman Center is governed by a state institution of higher education (Troy University) and cannot be licensed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Coleman Center meets or exceeds the licensing standards, Minimum Standards for Day Care Centers and Nighttime Centers, as prescribed by the State of Alabama Department of Human Resources. Coleman Center will be monitored annually by the Alabama Department of Human Resources to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety Guidelines – Requirements and Procedures for Facilities Participating in the Child Care Subsidy Program. To obtain a copy of Minimum Standards for Day Care Centers and Nighttime Centers, you may write or call the State Department of Human Resources, Office of Day Care Licensing, 50 Ripley Street, Montgomery, AL 36130-4000, or the local County Department of Human Resources. It is also available on line at: https://dhr.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/No-Highlighted-MS-for-CENTERS-revised.pdf
Meet the Director
Hello! I am Dr. Tonya Conner and I am the Director for the Office of Certification and Field Experience. I hold BSE and MSE degrees from Troy University and EDS and EDD degrees from University of West Florida. I have recently been appointed the Interim Director for the Coleman Center of Early Learning and Family Enrichment. I will be working through the transition as a search takes place for a permanent director.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 35 years and we have two sons and daughters-in-law, one granddaughter, Makenzie, and two grandsons, Riley and Henry. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and traveling when the I have the opportunity.
Teachers and Staff
Coleman Center employs administrative and support services staff in addition to teachers and auxiliary teachers. Teachers have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Auxiliary teachers have an associate’s degree or a Child Development Associate (CDA). All staff participate in professional education and are committed to providing the best in early childhood practice.
All staff must receive the following clearances:
- State Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect
- Alabama Bureau of Investigation/Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Sex Offender Status
- Health Screening
- A.A., Child Development Administration, Wallace Community College, Dothan, AL (2017)
- B.S., Social Work, Troy University, Dothan, AL (Present)
Mrs. Bass has been married for nearly five years, and has two young children ages three and one. In her spare time, Mrs. Bass enjoys cooking, reading, writing and playing video games.
Mrs. Bass likes to binge watch Monk on Netflix.
- A.S., Early Childhood Development
- B.S., Psychology - Assistant Director and other Leadership Roles
- Currently working on a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy- student intern
- Family and Center-Based Childcare/Ages Birth-18 years (2003-current)
Ms. Benjamin has been married since 2004. They have four beautiful children and 3 dogs. Her father and husband both served in the military so she was able to learn new cultures and travel throughout the world.
Ms. Benjamin enjoys family time and making memories. She serves in the church, enjoys reading, crocheting and watching movies. Ms. Benjamin loves working with people and truly wants to make a difference in the lives of others.
- B.S., Fine Art, Florida SouthWestern State College, Naples, FL
- Early Childhood Administration, Auburn University, Montgomery, AL
- Early Childhood Management Certification, State of AL
Mrs. Brown used to own and operate her own early learning center, and train caregivers though Family Guidance in Dothan, Alabama. Mrs. Brown moved to Headland, Alabama in 2004 with her husband and three children. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have also raised three additional children, for a total of six.
Mrs. Brown enjoys playing softball, baseball, pickleball and hiking.
- BS in Early Childhood Education, Troy University, Dothan
- Lead Teacher with Alabama Pre- K, 2015-2020
- Dothan City Schools - 2 years
- Child Care Experience – 20 years
Mrs. Fulford is a wife and mother of 6 children, Grandmother to 2 children and attends Grace Church.
Mrs. Fulford enjoys spending time with family and crafting and using her Cricut machine.
- A.A., Applied Science Child Development Educator and Administrator, Wallace Community College, Dothan, AL
- Beulah Land Christian Academy, Dothan, AL
Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Gibson has been teaching children the last nine years in Dothan, Alabama. Ms. Gibson has four children, two girls and two boys. Mrs. Gibson also has five grandchildren, four grandsons and one granddaughter.
Mrs. Gibson enjoys shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves to eat at Red Lobster!
- Northview High School (2017)
- A.S., General Studies, Wallace College (2020)
- Covenant United Methodist (2016-2017)
- Ridgecrest Baptist (2018-2019)
- Coleman Center (2019-current)
Ms. Godwin has an awesome support system! She loves the Lord and attends St. John A.M.E. Church in Campbellton, Florida.
Ms. Godwin loves singing, praise dancing, listening to music, and spending time with family.
- Northview High School (1995)
- A.S., Early Childhood Education (2018)
- Family and Center-Based Child Care (1992-present)
Ms. Godwin has been married since 2000. She and her husband Lounorris, have been blessed with four wonderful children A’nya, Lounorris, Jr., Bryson and Maryunna.
Ms. Godwin is an active church member where she serves in the choir, Women’s Missionary and as an usher. She also enjoys spending time with her family, reading and completing word search puzzles. Ms. Godwin lives by the saying, “Teaching is not a job, it’s a gift.”
- B.S., Psychology, Troy University, Dothan, AL (2011)
- Katy Independent School District, Katy, TX
Ms. Hall was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama. Ms. Hall has worked with children for over six years, including children with Autism.
Ms. Hall enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
- A.S., Early Childhood Education (2019)
- Pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Troy University (2019-current)
- Center-Based Child Care (2017-present)
Ms. Jordan lives with her parents and brother in Skipperville.
Ms. Jordan enjoys art and craft projects. She is the proud owner of her Rottweiler, Xena.
- A.S., Early Childhood Education, Wallace College (2017)
- Head Start-Disability and Pre-K Auxiliary Teacher (2017 to present)
Ms. Mills enjoys working with young children. She and her son reside in Ozark.
Ms. Mills enjoys reading, drawing and Alabama football.
- A.S. Degree, Wallace Community College
- Currently pursuing a B.S. in Secondary Education - English Language Arts at Troy University.
I am the oldest of three girls. I have a 5 year old German Shepherd named Zaida.
I love to read, spend quality time with my loved ones, and paint in my spare time.
- A.S., Child Development, Wallace Community College, Dothan, AL (2017)
- Ashford High School, Ashford AL (2009)
Ms. Potter has been working with children for over seven years. She loves serving the needs of others, including her 7-year old son.
Ms. Potter enjoys traveling, eating seafood and spending time with her family.
- A.S., Child Development, Wallace Community College, Dothan, AL
- B.S., Sociology, Troy University, Dothan, AL
- MSW, Troy University, Dothan, AL
- Early Headstart 0-3 years, Salibia Family Service Center, Dothan, AL
- Midland City Headstart 3-4 years, OCAP, Troy, AL
- Mental Health Therapist, Dothan, AL
Ms. Smith is originally from Alexander City, Alabama, but later moved to Dothan, Alabama in 2004. Ms. Smith was born into a large family, and also has a daughter in the United States Army. Winter is Ms. Smith’s favorite time of year.
Ms. Smith likes to garden in her spare time.
- A.A., Liberal Arts, Wallace Community College (2015)
- Pursuing a B.S., Elementary Education, Troy University (current)
- Calvary Baptist Church, Preschool (2014-current)
- Workship Student, Troy University (2020 – current)
Ms. Walden attends church with her family at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Slocomb, Alabama. She truly loves working with children and her goal in life is to reach as many children as possible and be a positive impact on their lives.
Ms. Walden enjoys shopping, drinking coffee CONSTANTLY, reading, spending time with friends and family, taking road trips, binge watching FRIENDS, and spoiling her cat (Chloe) and her dog (Gibbs).
- B.S., Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Mississippi University for Women
- Jackson County, MS Schools (6 years)
- Dothan City Schools (2 years)
First Presbyterian Preschool (15 years)
Ms. Young was born and raised in Moss Point MS. She has resided in Dothan with her son and daughter since 1997. They attend Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Dothan.
Ms. Young enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach and watching Alabama football.