Joretta Nelson, Ph.D.
Vice Chairman & Founder of MTN / Owner
Joretta Nelson spent more than 20 years working in music education, teaching music theory, and conducting choirs and orchestras. She honed an ability to identify and cultivate the talent of others, and to blend those talents to create a performance more powerful and beautiful than they could ever achieve alone.
She brings a similar approach to higher education leadership and strategy. In Joretta’s work with Credo clients, she empowers institutions and their staffs to merge their strengths, co-creating solutions to deliver student success results beyond their wildest imaginations.
Advocating for Student Success and Higher Education Innovation
As Credo’s vice chairman, Joretta leverages her visibility in the higher education industry to evangelize the ultimate goal of colleges and universities: student learning. She inspires presidents, board members, and other leaders to think big and bold about the challenges higher education institutions face in delivering on their promises of student success.
Joretta’s background as both a faculty member and administrator—alongside her experiences with Credo partners—informed the development of Credo’s signature Moving the Needle (MTN) project—an innovative five-year, revenue-share partnership designed to transform campus culture and build the infrastructure, collaboration, and buy-in needed to sustain high levels of student success and retention. With the expansion of MTN to more campuses across the country, Joretta championed the creation of the MTN Talent Development Program, a professional development opportunity for faculty & staff that builds leadership through the lens of student success. Moving the Needle is well on its way toward our goal of reaching a million students and the more than 100,000 leaders who serve them.
“We have what we need to change students’ and their families’ lives through the transformational experience of higher education. It's my job to reorient focus, teach and install the power of collaboration, and radically challenge the norms of our old ways of being in this industry.”
A Passion for Music, Travel, and Family
When she’s not conducting the strategic symphonies of Credo partners, Joretta maintains a deep connection with her first love, music. She also travels the world to spend time with her children and grandchildren who live in Brazil, Montenegro, and her home state of North Carolina. And when she’s truly at rest, she’s enjoying the sunshine and beach of Wilmington, N.C., where she lives with the love of her life.
More About Joretta
Client & Project Portfolio
Academic Efficiency Assessment
- Alvernia University
- Presbyterian University
- Messiah College
- Ohio Independent Foundation
- Linfield University
- Muhlenberg College
- Wingate University
Moving The Needle
- Bethel University
- Houston Christian University
- Marian University
- Association of Catholic Colleges & Universities
- Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
- Council of Independent Colleges
- Midwest Roundtable On Talent
- University of the Pacific
- York College of Pennsylvania
- Nova Southeastern
- Roanoke College
- Warren Wilson College
Strategic Institutional Partnership
- Wingate University
- Vice President of Enrollment Management, Brevard College
- Vice President of Enrollment Management, Union College
Education & Certifications
- B.M., Voice, University of California at Los Angeles
- Ph.D., Higher Education, Azusa Pacific University
Strengths & More
REACH Style | Coach
Executive Leadership Team
Joretta is part of the Executive Leadership Team. She is proud to work with this team of talented individuals.
Student Success & Retention Team
Joretta is the Founder of Moving The Needle, and as Vice Chairman remains deeply connected to Credo's student success work with this talented team.
Allison Ash, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Strategy and Operations for Student Success & Senior Consultant