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Nicole Watford



Dr. Nicole Watford is a passionate educator with 20 years of experience working to improve the educational experiences and postsecondary opportunities for underserved students. Her career spans K-16 education, with a consistent mission to promote equity in education by narrowing academic and opportunity gaps. As a classroom teacher, Dr. Watford integrates a collaborative, student-centered pedagogical approach steeped in research-based standards for successful postsecondary transitions.

For over a decade, Dr. Watford has been a faculty member at Morgan State University, where she has consistently taught a full load of English courses. She infuses her college and career readiness expertise by having her students complete extensive research to solve a critical issue in their major, which fosters a deeper understanding of their career paths of interest. Dr. Watford successfully applied a similar approach with middle-school students at KIPP Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore, where she was recognized for significantly increasing her students’ reading and comprehension levels. Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Watford has been commended for high-quality instruction, rigor in lessons, classroom management, and student engagement that prepare her students for success.

Previously certified as a career development facilitator, Dr. Watford expanded her knowledge and research to identify key factors that contribute to the persistent lag in academic achievement among Black and brown students, ultimately earning her doctorate in urban education. She has facilitated roundtable discussions with students and parents for research, resulting in multiple CCR-related publications. To further impact the educational experiences and opportunities of underserved students, Dr. Watford also participated in Maryland’s Education Policy Fellowship Program to make a greater impact locally and nationally.


  • College and career readiness
  • Program training facilitation


  • EdD in Urban Educational Leadership: Educational Planning/Administration – Morgan State University (Researched college readiness of Black students by school type: traditional, magnet, and CTE-focused)
  • MA in Communications – University of Baltimore
  • BA in English – University of Baltimore
  • NC Workforce Development Training Center – Career Development Facilitator Certificate
  • Institute for Educational Leadership – MD Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

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