Rebecca Nelson

Becky Nelson, Dean of the School of Education

Dean of the School of Education
Associate Professor of Education

Expertise: School leadership and policy studies; curriculum and instruction

At North Park since: 2008

In her role as dean, Dr. Rebecca Nelson works with all of the School of Education’s programs, including undergraduate and graduate teacher education, principal preparation, and continuing development for licensed teachers. “It is a privilege to work with students who come to us with a desire to develop their educational skills,” she says. “And an honor for those of us who teach and lead in the School of Education to walk alongside our students as they learn, grow, and serve.”

An alumna of North Park herself, Dr. Nelson returned to the University and the School of Education because of its strong core values. “Its unique identity—distinctively Christian, intentionally urban, purposefully multicultural—provides a framework for incorporating faith into our daily interactions with students,” she says. Dr. Nelson finds that these values help inform her students’ teaching abilities.

“Our students become teachers in schools throughout the country and world,” she says. “The School of Education provides a unique opportunity for students who are looking to be exceptionally well trained and want to serve others.”

Dr. Nelson also brings significant real-world experience as an educator and administrator to her roles as dean and professor. She taught grades one through six in the Prairie-Hills School District in Markham, Ill., was the principal of Markham Park School and of Greenbriar School in Northbrook, Ill., and she served as the superintendent of schools in Skokie School District 69.

Dr. Nelson has served as president of the Illinois Association for Teacher Education in Private Colleges, and a member of the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board, among other associations.


  • PhD, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Loyola University Chicago
  • MA, Curriculum and Instruction, DePaul University
  • Bachelor of Music Education, North Park University

Recent Presentations

  • Rebecca Nelson. “Embracing Practice: Collaborating to Envision a Map.” American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (February 28, 2013).
  • Rebecca Nelson. “A New Vision of Teacher Preparation, Part I: Partnerships Perspectives of K-12 Leaders Working with Postsecondary Education.” State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (August 7, 2012).
  • Rebecca Nelson. “From Theory to Practice: Implementing a Research-Based Clinical Model.” International Colleges of Christian Teacher Education (May 24, 2012).

“Our students become teachers in schools throughout the country and world.”