About Dr. C. Nicole Henderson


Every student who has the desire and capability to go to college should have that opportunity. Your zip code should not be the determing factor.
— Dr. C. Nicole Henderson
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Dr. Nicole, as she is affectionately called by her students, is a dynamic college access and success professional and is the creator of the highly successful SmartStart® College Success program. SmartStart® is a research based innovative program which equips students with the skills necessary to successfully navigate the college enrollment process, become stellar students and earn their college degree.  

As a Dean of Student Affairs, she is uniquely positioned to understand the complexities that exist in the college admissions process. She knows first-hand the challenges that impede students from graduating, the role of placement test, and the misinformation around financial aid and has been successful in developing student retention strategies to support student success and completion. 

Dr. C. Nicole Henderson has spent the last 25+ years developing unique programming and coaching for students from around the country, not only on getting admitted to college, but also ensuring graduation and for many, successfully enrolling in medical school, law school, and Ph.D. doctoral programs. She understands college success from beginning to end and has experience coaching students with admissions to highly selective Ivy League universities, as well as, assisting students with earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships. 

Dr. C. Nicole Henderson also has experience consulting with school districts in creating college readiness programs for high school students. From the launching of The TRIO Upward Bound Partnership for Student Success program, which was nominated for Innovation of the Year, to the McNair Scholars doctoral prepration program and the development of a community-based tutoring and SAT Prep Program, she works first-hand with high school administrators and has a deep understanding of the high school curriculum and how to translate it to college readiness and admissions.  

Dr. C. Nicole Henderson holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Management in Higher Education from Drexel University. She also holds a master's degree in gifted education from the University of South Florida and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida.

Through her teaching, speaking, and consulting work, Dr. C. Nicole has extensive experience creating college pathways and empowering students in achieving new heights of college access and success.