Joretta Nelson, Ph.D.

Chief Knowledge Officer & Senior Vice President / Owner

Joretta is known on campuses and at Credo as a dedicated student success advocate.  Whether advising presidents, leading strategic planning, or consulting on academic and student success projects, Joretta keeps student success at the center of her work. Joretta developed and launched Credo’s unique Moving the Needle project in 2011, a comprehensive two-year student success project that serves to transform campus culture, building the on-campus infrastructure, collaboration, and buy-in needed to sustain higher levels of retention for an institution. Her early background as both a faculty member and an administrator provided a framework for her focus on the research and successful strategies that help students thrive.  

A frequent speaker and guest lecturer at higher education conferences and campuses across the country, Joretta enjoys connecting with her audiences, and empowering independent college and university campuses to succeed by putting students first.  She has an uncanny ability to relate and communicate, ensuring each client and colleague feels heard and supported. Joretta previously served positions as a member of senior leadership teams at Brevard College and Union College, and as a faculty member in music departments on various campuses. Joretta earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University, where her dissertation focused on student motivation, exertion of effort, and institutional impact. An accomplished musician, particularly as a choral conductor, Joretta received her B.A. in music from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed choral conducting master’s studies at California State University at Fullerton.

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