Nicole Gahagan

Student Support Consultant

Mount Mary University

Nicole Gahagan

Student Support Consultant

Mount Mary University

Nicole Gahagan is a high-performing, solutions-oriented student success strategist committed to equity in higher education. Skilled at developing relationships and building motivation amongst stakeholder groups to accelerate change and produce meaningful outcomes, she has achieved early success in transforming institutions. Nicole has extensive experience in team training and project management and has a proven record of identifying systemic issues and responding with well-executed action plans for continuous improvement. Nicole has successfully positioned institutions to enhance the success rates of traditionally at-risk students. She is also a sought after leader of grant design, writing, and management and has secured millions in external funding for various organizations.

As a first-generation college student, Nicole understands the transformational effect higher education has, and she has made it her life’s work to help more students earn a post-secondary credential in a timely manner. To do this, she believes her greatest impact can be made by helping colleges and universities reimagine themselves as institutions that are responsive to 21st century student needs. Leading with an unrelenting commitment to student success, Nicole puts her strengths as an educational entrepreneur and strategist to work with her relationship-building and project management skills to inspire academic innovation.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Art in sociology from UW-La Crosse and a Master of Education in educational policy and leadership from Marquette University. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education degree at St. Cloud State University. Throughout her 17 year career, she has provided either direct services or executive-level leadership to a comprehensive range of departments administering enrollment and retention services to students. Nicole has progressively advanced as an administrator and has taught at various postsecondary institutions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her favorite work involves collaboratively leading and managing institutional projects, including implementing Guided Pathways, developing a campus-wide assessment model, building a student success framework, and transitioning to a new academic calendar structure.

Beyond her work in higher education, Nicole is the mother of Maxwell (9) and Lillyana (6), cherishes family time, volunteers in the community, loves being outdoors, and enjoys completing DIY house projects.

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