Karen Nicholson

Associate Professor, Education

A longtime Manhattan College education professor, Karen Nicholson, Ph.D., was named dean of the School of Education and Health in June 2016. 

Nicholson is the founder of the College’s Center for the Study of the Future of Education, which seeks to contribute to the academic discussion regarding key educational issues that impact teaching and learning in the 21st century. She also has led the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation reaccreditation process for the School of Education and Health after leading the successful Middle States accreditation process in 2012.

A member of the Manhattan College faculty since 1994, Nicholson has been honored as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator by her peers at the College and by the New York District. Prior to joining Manhattan College, Nicholson spent five years on the faculty of Penn State, Harrisburg, five years on the faculty of West Virginia Institute of Technology, and six years as an elementary school classroom teacher in Charleston, West Virginia.

Nicholson received a bachelor of science from West Virginia State college, a master of arts from West Virginia College of Graduate Studies and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

In addition to training early childhood, elementary, secondary, bilingual and special education teachers, the School of Education and Health prepares undergraduate students looking to break into careers in the following varied professions: athletic coaching, sports management, health care administration, human services, physical education, radiation therapy technology and nuclear medicine technology. The school also offers graduate programs in mental health and school counseling, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, school building leadership and special education.


  • PHD, Ohio State University: Marion
  • MA, West Virginia State College
  • BS, West Virginia State College

Courses Taught

  • EDUC 318      Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Elementary Classroom
  • EDUC 354      Integrated Learning Grade 4-6
  • EDUG 733      Approaches to Multicultural Education for the At Risk and Disabled Student
  • EDUG 781      Management Techniques and Curriculum for the At Risk and Behaviorally Disordered
  • Research
    • The preparation of Effective Teachers
    • Multicultural Education
    • Equity in Education
    • Program design and development in Teacher Education 

    Current Projects:

    • Working with other teacher educators through NYCPD to raise awareness of racism and to promote equity in education. 
    • Working with the Lasallian Education Committee to raise campus-wide awareness of the need for lay partners and Christian Brothers to work together to advance our work of providing quality education for all.
    • National Accreditation
  • Publications and Scholarly Activities
    • Nicholson, K. (2008) Today's Pedagogy a chapter in Teaching Today's Children, Merriman, W. and Nicoletti, A., eds.  NCEA, Washington, DC.
    • New York Consortium Professional Development (NYCPD).  May 2007. "Examining Perceptions and Exploring Possibilities for Working with Students and Families in an Urban Setting".  The New York Consortium for Professional Development.  Presented at 8th Annual Sharing Our Success Conference, New York, NY.
    • NYCPD.  May 2006.  "Equity: Facilitating Difficult Conversations."  A paper presented at the 7th Annual Sharing Our Success Conference at New York University. NY.
    • Nicholson, K. and others. January 2006.  "An Audit Through the Eyes of the Program."  Panel presentation at the Seventh Annual Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.
    • NYCPD. January 2006.  "Using Popular Culture Films to Facilitate Conversations about Equity Issues." A paper presented at the AACTE Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.
    • Grayson, Dolores. K. Nicholson and others (July 22, 2004) "GESA: The New York State Story."  A paper presented at the Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education, 25th annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
    • Nicholson, K. and E. Kosky (July 2004). "GESA: The New York Story." A paper presented at the Association for Gender Equity and Leadership in Education meeting in Albany, NY.
    • Nicholson, K, E. Kosky, S Boffoli,  and  L. DiBattista. (Nov. 2003) "Equity Issues and Their Impact on Curriculum and Classroom Practice." A paper presented at the 44th Biennial Convocation of Kappa Delta Pi in St. Louis, MO.
    • Evans, J.F. and Nicholson, K. (Winter 2003) Building a Community of Learners: Manhattan College Elementary Education Program. Teacher Education Quarterly.30(1), 137-50.
    • Nicholson, K., J.F. Evans, D. Darbee and L. Rizopoulos (March 2002) “Building a Community of Learners: Living, Teaching and Learning in a Democratic Community”.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of AILACTE in New York, NY.
    • Nicholson, K., J.F. Evans, J. Folden, and D. Darbee, (November 2001).  "Building a Community of Learners: Addressing Diversity in Teacher Education." A paper presented at the 43rd Biennial Convocation of Kappa Delta Pi in Orlando, FL.
    • Nicholson, K., C. Fitzpatrick, R. Musal and M. Muchardi, (November 2001). " TITAN: Transforming Instruction Through Technology and Networking.”  43rd Biennial Convocation of Kappa Delta Pi in Orlando, FL.
    • Fitzpatrick, C., K. Nicholson, R. Musal and M. Muchardi, (August 2001). “Transforming Instruction through Technology and Networking (TITAN). a paper presented at the annual meeting of PT3 projects in Washington, D.C.
    • Nicholson, K., J.F. Evans, D. Tellier-Robinson and L. Aviles. (Winter 2001) Allowing the VoicesofParents to Help Shape Teaching and Learning. Educational Forum. 65(2), 176-185.
    • Evans, J.F. and K. Nicholson. (March 2000).  “Using the Qualitative Paradigm to activate the Voices of Parents.”  Paper presented at the 21st Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum. Philadelphia, PA.
    • Nicholson, K., and J.F. Evans. (November 1999).  Using the Qualitative Paradigm to Activate the Voices of Parents.”   Paper presented at the 42nd  Biennial Convocation of Kappa Delta Pi. Baltimore, MD.
    • Evans, J.F., Nicholson, K., Tellier-Robinson, D., and Aviles, Sr. L. (1998).  "The Value of Qualitative Research Methodology as a Mode of Inquiry in the Education of At-Risk Populations.” The 29th Annual Conference of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Ellenville, NY.
    • Nicholson, K. and L. Aviles (October 1997).  “Effects of Parental Involvement on Academic and Social Progress of Bilingual Kindergarten Students.”  Paper presented at the 42nd Biennial Convocation of Kappa Delta Pi.  St. Louis, MO.
    • Nicholson, K. and B. Fortner. (October 1993).  "Teacher Education Program For Developing Future Teachers’ Cognitive and Metacognitive Awareness."  Paper presented at the Northeastern Educational Research Association annual conference. Ellenville, NY.
    • Bowers, T.G., K. Nicholson, R. Shell and S. Melnick. (June 1993).  "Education in the 21st Century: Perspectives on Teacher Training, Educational Reform, Changing Diversity and Psychoeducational Interventions."  Symposium presented at the Pennsylvania Psychological Association Conference. Pittsburgh, PA.
    • Nicholson, K. (May 1993). Moving Higher Order Thinking from Serendipity to Explicit Inclusion in the Teacher Preparation Curriculum. The NERA Researcher, 31(1), 2-8.
    • Nicholson, K. (June 1992.) "Collaborative for the Systematic Integration of Higher-Order Thinking Within the K-6 and Teacher Preparation Curricula."  Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Higher Education. San Diego, CA.
    • Securro, S., K. Nicholson, and R. Dockery. (February 1990).   "Third Year Evaluation of An Alternative Teacher Certification Program." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Chicago, IL.
    • Nicholson, K. and G.R. Short. (March 1989). "New Faculty Induction Program."A paper presented at The Mid-Atlantic conference on College Teaching and Classroom Research.  Salisbury State University, Salisbury, MD.
    • Nicholson, K. (November 1987). "Higher Education's Role in Teacher Induction Programs."  Keynote address at the West Virginia Association of Teacher Educators Fall Conference at Fairmont State College.  Fairmont, WV.
    • Nicholson, K., R. Dockery and S. Securro. (October 1987).  "Field-Based Training Program for Second Career Adults in Shortage Areas."  A paper presented at the National Rural and Small Schools Consortium, Washington, D.C. 
    • DeVoss, G.D., K. Nicholson and N.L. Zimpher. (October 1981).  "Where To Go Once the Ethnography Is Done."  A paper presented at the Midwest Regional Conference on Qualitative Research in Education. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
    • Nicholson, K. (July 1981).  "The Generative Model of Learning:  Implications for the Language Arts Curriculum."  Ohio Reading Teacher. Vol. XV, No. 4.
    • Nicholson, K., P.P. O'Reilly, and J.T. Ranson. (April 1979). "Moving from Conflict to Competence: The process of Growing and Changing." McDowell County and WVCOGS Teacher Corps Project.  A paper presented to the Teacher Corps Research Adaptation Cluster in San Francisco, CA.
  • Honors, Awards, and Grants
    • Distinguished LaSallian Educator, New York District, 2008.
    • Selected to attend the First International LaSallian Higher Education Leadership Program, Rome, Italy, June 2007.
    • Distinguished LaSallian Educator for 2002-2003, Manhattan College. Recognition for commitment to the ideals of John Baptist de La Salle including excellence in teaching, respect for individual dignity and commitment to social justice.
    • Thomas C. Holy Memorial Fellowship, March 1981. The Ohio State University.  Presented by the Graduate School recognizing potential in research.
  • Other

    Certifications and Licenses:

    • West Virginia Lifetime Professional Teaching Certificate
    • Grades 1 - 6 Multisubjects and 1 - 9 Language Arts