Dean of the National College of Education


The next Dean of the National College of Education will join a college that is poised to innovate to advance student learning and community impact. The Dean will need to be a bold visionary prepared to lead the College towards an innovative digital future, expanding on the development of centers of excellence including the emergent Institute for Early Childhood, organizing literacy and reading programs into a cohesive body of work and contributions, developing faculty capacity and talent to deliver learning outcomes through different instructional delivery models, and continuing to advance National Louis University’s commitment to ensure that every child has an excellent teacher regardless of zip code. The Dean must be willing to challenge the status quo internally and externally on behalf of children and amplify the university voice on policy issues. The next Dean must possess a data informed orientation and have a track record of executing necessary change to advance the reputation and contributions of the College.

The Dean reports to the Provost and works directly with the President and Provost on strategic matters. The successful candidate will be a strategic, innovative, and results-oriented leader with a track record of success – setting clear expectations, inspiring people, collaborating across the institution, and managing effectively. This individual must show evidence of a deep appreciation for teaching, learning, and scholarship along with a passion for serving Pre-K-12 education in addition to a strong understanding of the internal economics of the academic enterprise and the current challenges facing higher education.

National Louis University (NLU) is a leader in teacher preparation and an influential resource for Illinois’ educational practitioners. The Dean will celebrate the College’s rich history and founding ideals while defining a bold new future and building on its strong brand as a national destination institution. The Dean will work collaboratively with marketing and enrollment to highlight the breadth and depth of programs. The Dean will foster the development of new ground-breaking programs with the potential for great impact in the field. The Dean will ensure that all programming offered within the College is relevant to students’ needs, current with community expectations, and meets or exceeds the College’s internal academic and external accreditation standards. The Dean will support the University’s goal of playing a thought-leadership role in the field and support faculty efforts related to scholarship and advancement of professional practice. The Dean is also the face of the College and represents the College with alumni, donors, and partners, advancing policy at the state and federal level to shape educator policies and standards. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to advance excellence and innovation in curriculum development and educational quality in collaboration with the faculty and community stakeholders.

The successful candidate must establish a vision in alignment with the University Strategic Plan that advances NCE’s role as a national leader in educator preparation. The Dean must build upon areas of excellence including early childhood, literacy and reading, and leadership.


  • Provide vision and leadership for the College.
  • Develop and manage the budget and allocate resources appropriately to achieve strategic goals.
  • Partner with the Provost to develop and implement action plans for the College aligned with the University’s strategic plan.
  • Utilize external and institutional data in decision making.
  • Be an active participant in national and state-level discussions about policy and legislative debates and serve as a tireless advocate for Pre-K-12 schools.
  • Continue to forge partnerships nationally and locally between the University, the Chicago Public School system, school districts, community colleges, and other universities to better address the needs of the schools and prepare the next generation of educators.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director of the Florida Campus to ensure alignment between Illinois and Florida programs while exploring opportunities for new programs.
  • Work closely with the Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment to support marketing and enrollment initiatives, and to foster the recognition and growth of the College.
  • Collaborate with community partners to identify existing and emerging market needs for new programs and/or the transformation of existing programs. Develop and implement appropriate strategies to bring such opportunities to fruition.
  • Work with Student Affairs and Academic Support teams to ensure an effective and seamless student experience.
  • Work closely with the University’s Advancement team to increase external funding to the College through philanthropy, partnerships, grants, and research funding.
  • Maintain a regular presence on campus and work with all stakeholders to advance the organizational culture of the College, which is based on student-centeredness, accountability, and collaboration.
  • Mentor, supervise, and evaluate the work of Program Directors and Chairs.
  • Attract, hire, develop, and retain faculty talent.
  • Lead professional development efforts.
  • Work with faculty to create an environment conducive to learning and service that will lead to intellectual vitality and student success.
  • Support the various instructional modalities offered at the University and elevate the use of technology to increase flexibility of program offerings.
  • Identify areas of engaged research in the College, build teams of faculty and partners to pursue external funding, and play a thought leadership role in the field of education.
  • Manage personnel matters related to faculty and staff in the College.
  • Work with Program Directors and Provost Office to complete annual program assessment and accreditation requirements.
  • Supervise the Centers of Excellence associated with the College working with the directors to increase the collaboration between the Centers and the affiliated academic programs. Align the work of the Centers with the University’s strategic initiatives.
  • Utilize the professional networks of the Centers to advance the University’s brand and strengthen the College’s engagement with the schools and community.


  • An earned doctorate in education with a track record of increasing leadership achievement in complex educational environments.
  • Demonstrated capacity for strategic leadership; the ability to move an organization forward.
  • A record of academic achievements including teaching and/or research supervision.
  • Strong financial acumen and the ability to utilize data in decision making.
  • Experience in business planning, project and change management, and financial and budget management.
  • Experience implementing strategic plans, including performance management goals and objectives, proven human resource management, and supervisory experience.
  • A collaborative management style that includes building strong teams within, between, and across organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Active engagement with national professional education associations.
  • Experience with effective educational accountability systems and a commitment to improving outcomes for PreK – 12 students.
  • Experience in developing community partnerships and strong relationships, especially with K-12 school districts.
  • Familiarity with online education, technology, and its impact on pedagogy.
  • An appetite for fundraising; willingness and ability to raise money.

About the National College of Education:

National College of Education (NCE) has a long-standing reputation of distinction for its education programs and has been an innovative leader in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education since it started in 1886. Since its inception, NCE has been a pioneer in education advancing the kindergarten movement in the US, establishing the National Congress of Mothers as the first Parent Teacher Association, fostering the Head Start movement, and providing the first elementary education degree program in Illinois. In April of 2020, NCE completed its reaccreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) and was awarded 7 years of accreditation.

Even throughout the pandemic, NCE demonstrated unprecedented leadership training to teachers and leaders across the community to deliver education remotely, building support networks to solve emergent problems of practice, and rapidly pivoting to continue its own educational programs remotely. The result was a college that thrived despite the pandemic and has emerged more focused than ever on preparing educators and leaders for a post-pandemic world.

NLU ranks among the top institutions in the country in its enrollment and graduation of minority educators. Roughly 10 percent of NCE alumni are teachers or administrative leaders in the Chicago Public School System and NCE has the largest number of graduates who are National Board-Certified teachers in Chicago.

NCE has more than 60 faculty on two tracks offered at the University, the Tenure Track and the Professional Practice Track. In addition to being outstanding teachers, NCE faculty are engaged in research and scholarship and regularly publish their research and present at national and local conferences. A number of faculty collaborate on grants, with colleagues and professionals in the schools, to advance the needs of the field of education.

Academic Programs

The National College of Education comprises a diverse set of academic programs at the graduate level offered using various innovative instructional technologies including On-campus, Virtual-Campus, Online, Low Residency and In-School Residency with 12 fully digital degrees, endorsement and certificate programs. NLU also offers multiple undergraduate education programs housed in the Undergraduate College in coordination with NCE.

NCE served 3,486 students last year of whom 2,819 are degree-seeking. The College offers six doctoral (Ed.D.) programs, including Curriculum, Advocacy, and Policy; Disability and Equity in Education; Educational Leadership; Higher Education Leadership; Post-Secondary Teaching and Instruction; and Reading, Language, and Literacy with a total enrollment of 270. NCE also offers eight Education Specialist (Ed.S.) programs in Curriculum and Instruction with Advanced Specializations, Education Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, Learning Sciences Education, School Psychology, Reading and Language, Teacher Leadership, and Teaching and Learning. NCE offers 15 degree programs at the master’s levels in addition to non-degree certificate and endorsement programs. In addition to its core programs, NCE provides innovative pathways into teaching, including residency and alternative licensure programs.

Field Experience

Field experiences and clinical practice are key areas of focus and are found throughout NCE in licensure and advanced programs. From its origins in 1886 when NLU’s founder, Elizabeth Harrison, worked closely with Jane Addams in the Chicago area, the College has partnered with local schools and community groups to ensure candidates achieve the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions that are essential to the intellectual, social, and emotional development of students. Within the College, advisory boards provide direct feedback to specific programs about their needs within the community. The National College of Education has had a tradition of supporting practice-focused educator preparation approaches. NCE currently partners with the Chicago Public Schools, as well as other school districts and organizations in Illinois to deliver place-based residency models that serve as exemplary teacher preparation programs. These highly regarded programs serve as pipelines of teachers to meet the state’s growing demand for educators.

Centers of Excellence and Community Outreach:

  • The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership is dedicated to building the leadership potential of early childhood educators through professional development, evaluation, research, and public awareness.
  • The Illinois Reading Recovery Center for Literacy supports Reading Recovery, an early intervention program for first graders experiencing extreme difficulty learning to read and write, through a progress monitoring system, continuing education for Reading Recovery teachers, and research and evaluation.
  • The Reading Center provides student instruction; professional development; district, school, and classroom consultation and research. The Center functions as a training site for graduate students in the Reading Specialist program, as well as for a selected group of undergraduate trainees. The Reading Center also houses a reading curriculum center as well as a collection of children’s literature used for instruction.
  • The Center for Teaching through Children’s Books advocates excellence in teaching with quality literature for children and adolescents, encompassing multicultural voices, social justice issues, outreach activities, digital books and resources, and partnerships with schools, libraries, and other organizations.

Golden Apple Awards

Every year the Chicago-based Golden Apple Foundation recognizes ten educators from over 600 nominees. As of this year, more than 75 of National Louis University’s alumni—nearly 25 percent of all the recipients—have received the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award since its inception in 1986. Dominic Belmonte, president and CEO of the Golden Apple Foundation, said about National Louis University: “It’s become no surprise to me that invariably each year a Golden Apple recipient is discovered to have a National Louis heritage. While the process we employ towards championing the excellence we seek does not focus on where the degree was obtained, time and again we discover to our delight that the path the excellent teachers we honor take passes through NLU.”

To learn more about the National College of Education’s impact, please see the 2019 NCE Impact Report.

About National Louis University:

National Louis University (NLU) is looking to honor its past while defining a bold new future as a contemporary comprehensive university dedicated to preparing diverse students for sustained professional success. NLU is keen on providing a career-building, life-changing education that is accessible to all students. The University offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five academic units: the Undergraduate College, Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, the College of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, the National College of Education, and the School of Business and Information Technology. NLU is one of the most diverse universities in the Midwest, helping students of all ages and backgrounds achieve their personal and professional goals.

NLU is a teaching-focused and student-centered university committed to providing access to a far-reaching exceptional education that is market-aligned and cost-effective. The University offers programs at multiple locations and through various modalities including face-to-face, online, synchronous and remote learning in which courses can be supplemented with well-planned and meaningful on-campus experiences. The University has experienced unprecedented growth and currently serves approximately 10,000 students at four locations in Illinois and Florida.

Founded in 1886, National Louis University is a private not-for-profit university offering programs through the doctoral level. NLU is classified as an Engaged Institution by the Carnegie Foundation and has been named as a top ten institution by Money Magazine where its alumni believe they are making the world “a better place.” The University has had more Golden Apple Award winners among its graduates in teacher preparation than any institution across the state. Graduates from NLU enter the workforce earning an estimated $43,000 per year after graduation, ranking NLU among the top five of all Illinois post-secondary schools. The University has received more than $100 million in funding for applied research projects in urban development, childhood development, school improvement, and teacher preparation. NLU is recognized as a national leader in closing the post-secondary completion gap through its innovative approach to undergraduate education.

Located in the center of Chicago’s downtown loop, across the street from the Art Institute, NLU is in an area that has been recognized as America’s largest campus with over 25 institutions and 50,000 students attending a college across the city. To learn more about National Louis University visit


President Nivine Megahed became the eleventh president of National Louis University in March of 2010. Dr. Megahed has over 30 years of experience making higher education more accessible for students of all backgrounds.

Under her leadership, the University has undergone a major transformation. Building on the success of the past decade, NLU recently completed its 2030 strategic plan. The plan continues to take the University on a bold path of innovation on behalf of its students and is built around five pillars with a central focus on advancing a diverse and equitable community with a culture of inclusion.

In the last 10 years, the University has undergone a significant transition, becoming increasingly data-informed, and efficient in its delivery of programming and services. New programs in high demand fields have been developed that have fueled enrollment growth. The University has re-envisioned undergraduate education and is committed to leading the effort to close the bachelor’s degree attainment gap and serve all students affordably with quality programming. Blended and online modalities have been built to better serve adult students’ needs for flexibility. The University completed the acquisition of Kendall College expanding its program offerings to include culinary and hospitality education and added new programs in the field of psychology and behavioral sciences over the last few years. It is now positioned to expand its impact with practitioner-focused programs.

Progress has been made in diversifying its faculty and staff. The University has also served as a catalyst for community transformation through its students and alumni focused on addressing some of the most pressing social issues such as violence prevention and prevention of human trafficking. The University set aggressive goals in improving student success, continuing enrollment growth, improving career readiness and employment outcomes, expanding its program portfolio, nurturing and retaining talent, and promoting positive community change and educational equity.

Today, NLU is viewed as one of the most innovative institutions in the country and has been dubbed as a model of the “new urban university” by the Gates Foundation. Committed to improving social mobility and economic opportunity, the University utilizes technology and innovation to continuously improve learning and outcomes for its students.

To Apply:

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately. The position is open until filled. For full consideration submit an application by January 24, 2022. Please submit a PDF version of your CV and a letter of interest explaining your interest in and suitability for this position. To apply online, go to

For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations:

Stephanie Rivas-Fowler

Senior Consultant

Summit Search Solutions, Inc.

Direct: (530) 677-9945

National-Louis University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Access/Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its students, faculty and staff. NLU is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community and strongly encourages all qualified individuals to apply.

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