Ed.D. Alumni Profile: Nicole Williams-Browning

My doctoral study, A Professional Learning Communities' Impact on Teacher Pedagogy and Target Student Outcomes, focused on narrowing the achievement gap for African American students. The Ed.D. program’s emphasis on social justice and providing equitable, just, and humane outcomes for all also prepared me for my current position, as   assistant superintendent for Bay Area charter schools that seek to provide a high quality education for African American and Latino students.

Nicole Williams-Browning, Ed.D alum currently Assistant Superintendent.My current title and role is Assistant Superintendent, Bay Area- Aspire Public Schools. Aspire Public Schools' mission and vision is to provide a high-quality education for African American and Latino students to ensure access and success to a college education and degree. My education and dissertation research at SMC prepared me for this role and responsibility at Aspire with its emphasis on social justice and providing equitable, just, and humane outcomes for all.

My doctoral work centered on narrowing the achievement gap for African American students by means of Professional Learning Communities. In practice, teams work together to assess, analyze, and adjust instruction and learning for students to ensure academic and emotional success. I deeply value and respect teams and teamwork. In almost every industry and organization, success is rooted in healthy teams and communities. Creating the conditions for teams to work together to support students, especially marginalized and under supported student groups, is necessary for great outcomes.

More personally, I wanted a doctoral degree since I was nine years old. Though the doctoral journey was one of the hardest challenges I have faced, it is also one of the most meaningful. It reinforced to me that dreams do indeed come true and the biggest lessons in life happen on the journey and not at the destination.