Lori Holcomb McClaren, Ph.D.

Executive Director of the School of Professional Studies

Dr. McClaren is originally from Connecticut but has called Raleigh home for over 12 years. She is an avid Clemson fan and enjoys going to Carolina Hurricanes hockey games with her husband. In her spare time, Dr. McClaren enjoys traveling, going to the beach at Cape Cod, and spending time with her beloved rescue dog, Gracie Belle. Her favorite Raleigh restaurant is 18 Seaboard.

Under her direction, the online programs have been awarded numerous distinctions, including the Top Online College for 2015 and 2016 by Affordable Colleges Online.

The people of Peace are the best. I love the tight-knit community!


  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut
  • MA in Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut
  • BA in Early Childhood Education, Clemson University
  • Additional Studies, FORSPRO, Madrid, Spain

Activities & Honors


  • Omicron Delta Kappa: National Leadership Honor Society
  • Sigma Iota Rho: Honor Society for International Studies
  • Pi Lambda Theta: International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education
  • Golden Key National Honor Society

Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Dr. McClaren’s research emphasis is governed by the integration of technology into teaching and learning. Dr. McClaren has focused her research on distance education and emerging technologies. Her research in these areas provides empirical support that expands our understanding of emerging technologies and how they can be utilized to support learning and communication in distance education courses.

  • Holcomb, L.B. & Kruger-Ross, M. (2013). Enhancing social presence and communities of practice in distance education courses through social media. In B. Patrut, M. Patrut, & C. Cmeciu (Eds.), Social media and the new academic environment: Pedagogical challenges. IGI Global Press.
  • Beal, C. M., Holcomb, L. B., & Lee, J. K. (2013). The Global Learning Initiative Project: Building a technology rich project to support student/teacher collaboration and global understanding. In New directions in social education research: The influence of technology and globalization on the lives of Students. Information Age Publishing, Greenwich, CT.
  • Kruger-Ross, M. & Holcomb, L. B. (2012) Educational technology as a subversive activity. Special Issue of Metropolitan Universities Journal on Web 2.0 Technologies in Higher Education.
  • Brady, K. P. & Holcomb, L. B., & Pijanowski, J. C. (2012). To Facebook or not to Facebook? Reassessing teacher privacy in a digital age. West’s Education Law Reporter
  • Beal, C. M., Holcomb, L. B., & Lee, J. (2012). Super-sizing social studies through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. Social Studies Research and Practice.
  • Kruger-Ross, M & Holcomb, L. B. (2011). Toward a set of theoretical best practices for Web 2.0 and web-based technologies. Meridian, 13(2).
  • Tingen, J., Philbeck, L., & Holcomb, L.B. (2011) Are classroom web sites evolving to meet the needs of 21st century? Kappa Delta Pi, The Record.
  • Holcomb, L.B., Brown, S. W., Lima, C. O. (July, 2010). Assessing the impact of a performance-based assessment on educators’ technology self-efficacy measures. International Journal of Instructional Media.
  • Holcomb, L. B., Brady, K. P., & Smith, B. V. (2010). The emergence of “educational networking”: Can non-commercial, education-based social networking sites really address the privacy and safety concerns of educators? Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(2), 476-482.
  • Brady, K. P., Holcomb, L. B., & Smith, B. V. (July, 2010). The use of alternative social networking sites in educational settings: A study of the e-learning benefits of Ning in Education. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(2), 152-171.
  • Holcomb, L. B. & Beal, C. M. (2010). Capitalizing on Web 2.0 in the social studies context. TechTrends 54(4).
  • Holcomb, L. B. (2009). Results & lessons learned from 1:1 laptop initiatives: A collective review. TechTrends, 53(6), 49-55.
  • Holcomb, L. B., Beal, C., & Robertson, A. (2009). Using Web 2.0 to support learning in the social studies context: Our journey from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and beyond. Social Studies Research and Practice, 4(3), 43-54.
  • Holcomb, L. B. (2008). Addressing the Issues: So the world isn’t flat after all. In Teaching social studies in middle and secondary schools. Beal, C., Bolick, C., Martorella, P. (2008) Teaching social studies in middle and secondary schools (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall Publications.
  • Oliver, K., Corn, J., & Holcomb, L. B. (2008). Student-reported differences in
    technology use and skill after the implementation of one-to-one computing. Educational Media International, 45(3), 207-220.
  • Holcomb, L. B., Castek, J., & Johnson, P. R. (2007). Unlocking the potentials of K- 12 classroom websites to enhance learning. The New England Reading Association Journal, 43(1), 36-43.
  • Holcomb, L. B., King, F. B., & Brown, S. W. (2004). Student traits and attributes contributing to success in online courses: Evaluation of university online courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 2(3).

Contact Lori Holcomb McClaren