Office: Department of History
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Dr. Dougan grew up in Gordonville, Missouri, a small town just west of Cape Girardeau. She graduated from Jackson High School in 1963; received a B.S. in Education Degree in History and Social Sciences from Southeast Missouri State University in 1967; an M.A. Degree in History from the University of Missouri in 1971; and an Ed.D. in Social Studies Education from Indiana University in 1984. Following graduation from Southeast, she taught social studies and coached debate and drama at Jackson High School and taught one year at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, while completing her M.A. Degree. Following her marriage to R. Neil Dougan in 1971, she taught at Cape Girardeau Central High School for one semester. She came to Southeast in 1972 as a faculty member in the University High School where she taught history and social studies at the secondary level (as well as sponsoring The Pow Wow, the high school’s yearbook). She was also involved in the Teacher Education Program, initially supervising student teachers and, as the teacher education program changed, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Skelton brought pre-student teaching social studies majors into her classroom for teaching experiences. When University High School was closed in 1986, Dr. Dougan was invited to join the Department of History where she and Dr. Skelton shared the “Techniques of Teaching Social Studies” Course and working with area schools and teachers who supervised social studies students in pre-student teaching experiences. Following Dr. Skelton’s retirement in 2001 she became Coordinator of the Social Studies Program and advisor to @160 majors.
Dr. Dougan served as Chair of the Department of History from 1991-2001. During that time she supervised the “temporary” move of the department into Kent Library while Carnahan Hall was being renovated. Five years later she coordinated the department’s return to a building that, on the exterior, still appeared much the same as it did when it was constructed in 1902; but on the interior was a modern, high tech building. In addition to teaching responsibilities and responsibilities as department chair, Dr. Dougan was actively involved in campus governance including serving as Chair of the Faculty Senate, Moderator of the Chair’s Forum, and Chair of the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee. She also served on the Administrative Council, University Planning and Budget Committees, Graduate Council, and the College Councils of the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education. She served as Interim Chair of the Department of Middle and Secondary Education during her last year on campus. Ironically, her office was in what had been the University Schools music room in the Scully Building; a return, of sorts, to the place where her teaching career at Southeast Missouri State University began.
Dr. Dougan has been active in Social Studies Education throughout her career. She has been an active member and sponsor of the Southeast Missouri Council for the Social Studies, continuing to plan and organize its annual meetings in retirement. She has also been active in the Missouri Council for the Social Studies, having served on its Board of Directors for many years and serving as editor of Horizons, the MCSS Newsletter for 10 years. The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has given her the opportunity to work for improvement of social studies education at the national level. She has served as a teacher education program reviewer since 1988 and is currently the Coordinator of Program Review for NCSS. Additionally she has served on multiple task forces that developed national standards for social studies educators and served as lead author of the most recent revision of the standards. After being selected by NCSS as its representative to National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 1999, she has served as chair of COPPE (an association of all licensure area representatives) and on several of the governing boards such as the Executive Board, the Specialty Area Studies Board, and the State Partnership Board. She has also served on the Board of Examiners, teams of educators that review institutional programs. In addition she has served as a consultant to State Boards of Education in Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
During her professional career Dr. Dougan has made numerous presentations at annual meetings of the NCSS, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the Missouri Bar Association (as a member of its Citizenship Education Committee), and was invited by the AHA to participate in a Wingspread Conference on the Future of the Masters Degree in the Preparation of History Professionals. She also presented a paper at an International Social Studies Conference in Sydney Australia in 1977. Although she has had multiple publications, she feels her real impact as a professional has been through her presentations and her work with the National Standards for Social Studies Teachers.
Dr. Dougan was recognized by the university administration in 2005 when she received the PRIDE Award, in recognition of her exemplary record of teaching, scholarship, and service. She received the award at the December 2005 Commencement ceremony. In addition, she was recognized as an Exemplary Teacher by Governor Matt Blunt in an April 2006 ceremony in Jefferson City.
When asked “What do you miss most in retirement?” Dr. Dougan’s response was “teaching and advising students.” The day-to-day interaction with students, watching them “grow” as professionals and “get it” as a history concept sinks in is the real joy in teaching.
Dr. Dougan has been serving as Coordinator of Assessment for two Teaching American History Grants locally supported by the Jackson R-2 Schools, Southeast Missouri State University, and the SEMO Council for the Social Studies. Dr. Dougan has indicated that the pleasure of being involved with the grants is watching her former students function as professionals and the opportunity to plan and participate in programs that bring prominent historians to Jackson Missouri; to read the books and other resources provided for the teachers; and to observe participants’ growth as teachers and historians through their involvement in the grants. The resources provided by the grants have enriched both the participants and their students.
Retirement has given Dr. Dougan the opportunity to spend more time working with the grants and the Jackson Heritage Association. However, the work with program review for NCSS, the continuing involvement in NCATE, and with the SEMO Council for the Social Studies has made her question the definition of “retirement.”