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Nicole Parsons joins the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) as an Assistant Professor having ten years of experience working with adolescents who learn differently in the Lawrence and Beverly Public Schools. She holds dual Massachusetts Teacher Licensures in Mild to Moderate Disabilities Grades 5-12 and English grades 9-12. Nicole has worked in a variety of settings including resource room, co-teaching, and sheltered English immersion programs. In addition to her public school experience, Nicole taught Foundations of Empowerment in a partnership initiative between Endicott College and the Jeremiah Program as one of the first certified Jeremiah educators in Massachusetts. Through this program, she facilitated workshops in emotional regulation, positive identity, communication skills, and personal responsibility to postsecondary students with learning differences.
Nicole earned her Master of Special Education degree from Salem State University and her Doctoral Degree from Endicott College. Nicole’s doctoral research takes a fresh and intimately revealing view from the inside of Two-Generation Programs. Her research defines the challenges teen mothers faced in simultaneously maturing in their roles as scholars and mothers. Her research identifies how students' racial and class backgrounds influence their approach to college life, academic readiness, and motherhood. She chose an area where little research has been done and illuminated issues and made recommendations to address problems that will inform policy and program decisions. In a way, Nicole’s research can be called pioneering in this soon-to-be more visible arena of Higher Education. What makes her research and her entire educational experience poignant is that Nicole was a teen mother herself. Her commitment to learning, improving, and growing is demonstrable.