Morel appointed associate dean in College of Professional Studies

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Nina MorelNationally recognized educator and instructional coach Nina Morel has been appointed to lead Lipscomb University’s new competency-based education program as associate dean of the College of Professional Studies at the university. Morel is currently associate professor of education and director of the Master of Education program at the university.

As associate dean, Morel will direct the university’s nationally recognized competency-based education program as well as design and implement the instructional coaching model that is a key component of that program. She will also lead the college’s integrated studies and adult degree programs, coordinate accreditation processes and serve as a liaison with national education associations.

“Dr. Morel is a leading thinker, author and expert in instructional coaching,” said Charla Long, dean of the College of Professional Studies. “Her deep roots in K-12 education will help us develop our program into one of the leading K-20 competency-based programs in the country. As an instructional coach, she also has a unique understanding of how to teach the softer skills that are not typically taught in the traditional educational setting.”

Morel said this appointment blends not only her variety of educational experiences but also her passions.

“With my background at K-12 institutions along with being on faculty at five universities, I have developed a love of helping adults learn and reach their potential,” said Morel, author of “How to Build an Instructional Coaching Program for Maximum Capacity.” “My involvement with cognitive and instructional coaching has opened my eyes to the need for more individualization in the field of adult learning. There are many ways to meet the needs of adult learners—competency based assessment, coaching, employer partnerships, individualized learning and online course delivery. We are fortunate at Lipscomb to be on the cutting edge of many of these practices. I am excited to bring my background in the field of education to a different arena, where I can explore these innovations first hand.”

Lipscomb University’s innovative competency-based education program, which has been tested extensively over the past two years, provides a platform for the university to customize degree programs based on corporate and workforce development needs. The program is offered through Lipscomb’s CORE (Customized, Outcome-based, Relevant Evaluation) Competency Assessment and Development Center. It is tied to the nationally recognized Polaris® competency assessment model that has been used by organizations such as Nike, Wendy’s International Inc. and AT&T. Students can earn up to 30 credits, following a rigorous behavioral assessment, saving them thousands of dollars in tuition money.

To date, 24 university faculty members, most of whom hold a doctoral degree, have been trained as certified behavioral assessors, and 100 individuals have gone through the assessment center. Lipscomb’s program, which is already seen as a leader and innovator in this area among liberal arts institutions nationally, recently became the first to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is one of only a few of its kind in the nation.

Morel has been on faculty at Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University and Lipscomb University among others. She has also served as the English Language Learner and Title 3 director, instructional coaching facilitator and pre-K coordinator among other roles for the Sumner County (Tenn.) School System. She is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Leaning Forward, the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Association and Tennessee Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages among other organizations.

Morel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lipscomb University as well as a Master of Education degree and Doctor of Education from Tennessee State University.

 For more information about Lipscomb’s College of Professional Studies, visit or call 615.966.1104.