Dr. Wilcoxen began her professional career as a speech and language pathologist, working in the public schools in Virginia and then at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. When she moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s she worked for the Los Angeles County Office of Education as a program specialist in special education programs for students with severe language disorders. She continued to pursue her interest in children's language and literacy development and disorders in the doctoral program in Educational Psychology at UCLA with a specialization in special education. After working at UCLA as a research assistant and instructor, she accepted a faculty position at Mount St. Mary's College as the Director of Elementary and Special Education in 1990. She has teaching credentials in special education and elementary education and continues to focus her academic work on the literacy development of struggling readers and writers.
Dr. Wilcoxen maintains professional memberships in the American Speech, Hearing and Language Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Council for Learning Disabilities and the International Reading Association.