Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
College of Education

Paulette Mills

Paulie Cropped

Paulie Mills

Emeritus Faculty
Department of Teaching and Learning

Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Paulie Mills has been interested in the development of social skills in young children since the beginning of her career.  This interest has been pursued in conjunction with the study of other areas of development (language, motor and cognitive) along with other variables of interest in the education of young children with disabilities.

Most notably was her involvement in the Longitudinal Curriculum Comparison Project. Between the years 1984 – 2004, Dr. Mills and her colleagues studied the impact of two contrasting curricula (Direct Instruction vs. Mediated Learning) on the cognitive, language and social behavior of 205 young children with disabilities and conducted yearly follow-ups with these children until their graduation from High School. This project originated at the University of Washington. Dr. Mills continues to work on this complex data set into retirement.

Teaching/professional interests

Dr. Mills taught courses in early childhood education, early childhood special education and general special education. She helped to develop the PhD program in Special Education and also created several of the online courses for a distance degree in Special Education. During her last four years in the college she coordinated the Master in Teaching (MIT) program. She enjoyed working with both undergraduate and graduate students. She continues to review articles for several journals in early childhood special education, social development and family studies.

Recent accomplishments


Ellsworth, L.M., Keen, H.A., Mills, P.E., Newman, J., Martin, F., Coffey, T. & Newberry, R.C. (2016) Role of 4-H dog programs in life skills development.  Manuscript submitted for publication.

Mills, P.E., Beecher, C.C., Dale, P.S., Cole, K.N., & Jenkins, J.R. (2014) Language of children with disabilities to peers at play: Impact of ecology.  Journal of Early Intervention, 36, 2, 111-130.

Most notable articles:

Jenkins, J.R., Dale, P.S., Mills, P.E., & Cole, K.N. (2006). How special education preschool
graduates finish: Status at 19 years of age. American Educational Research Journal, 43, 4,

Mills, P.E., Cole, K.N., Jenkins, J.R., & Dale, P.S. (2002). Early exposure to Direct Instruction and subsequent juvenile delinquency: A prospective examination. Exceptional Children,69, 1, 85-96. Reprinted in Gall, J.P., Gall, M.D., & Borg, W.R. (2005). Applying Educational Research, 5th edition, (pp. 272-284). New York: Longman Press.

Mills, P.E., Cole, K.N., Jenkins, J.R., Dale, P.S. (1998). Effects of differing levels of inclusion on
young children with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 65, 1, 79-90.

Mills, P.E., Dale, P.S., Cole, K.N., & Jenkins, J.R. (1995). Follow-up of children from academic and
cognitive preschool curricula at age nine.

Cole, K.N., Dale, P.S., Mills, P.E., & Jenkins, J.R. (1993). Interaction between early intervention criteria and student characteristics.  Exceptional Children, 60(1), 17-28.

Allen, K.E., Benning (Mills), P., & Drummond, W.T. (1972). Integration of normal and handicapped children in a behavior modification preschool: A case study.  In G. Semb (Ed.), Behavior Analysis and Education, (pp. 127-141) Lawrence, KS: University Printing Services.

National presentations:

Beecher, C. C & Mills, P.E. (February 20-22, 2014).  The impact of free play variables on the amount and complexity of peer language.  Poster presentation: presented at Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention (CRIEI), San Diego, CA.

Beecher, C.C. & Mills, P.E. (Febuary 25-27, 2012).  Preschool predictors of reading trajectories for a referred population.  Poster presentation: presented at Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention (CRIEI), San Diego, CA.

Beller, J. & Mills, P.E. (February 25-27, 2012).  The cerebellum rules!  Poster presentation: presented at Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention (CRIEI), San Diego, CA.

Itani, M. & Mills, P.E.  (February 25-27, 2012).  A principal component analysis of a social emotional rating scale and an analysis of the relationship between the parent and teacher components.  Poster presentation: presented at Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention (CRIEI), San Diego, CA.

Educational background

Ph.D. Education/Special Education, University of Washington, 1994

M.A. Child Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1968

B.A. Psychology, University of Montana, 1965