Constance N. Nichols

Chair, Professor of Education
All FacultyEducation

Contact Information
Phone: 724-458-3892

Constance N. Nichols


  • B.A., Grove City College
  • M.S., Duquesne University
  • Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh

Selected Works

  • Stebick, D. & Nichols, C. N. (2014). Language of Harry’s Wizards: Authentic Vocabulary Instruction. New England Journal of Reading
  • The Midwestern Early Childhood Institute, February, 2013: Building blocks of literacy: Best practices in literacy education for early childhood educators
  • The Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, November 2011: Looking Through the Window of the Master Word Approach: An Investigation of Adolescent Vocabulary Instruction
  • PAC-TE, October 2011: Navigating New Roads Together: Innovative Practices in Preparing Pre-Service Teachers at Similar Institutions. Panelist, facilitator: Amy Rogers
  • PAC-TE, October 2011: Unique Field Experiences: Local, State, National, and International
  • PAC-TE, October 2010: Invited panelist, keynote lecture: Trends in Standards and Best Practices in Reading Education
  • PAC-TE, October 2010: Integrating Campus and Community Resources: Early Childhood Education
  • Association of Teacher Educators, February, 2010: Moving the Mountain, Creating culturally relevant educators in a monocultural setting
  • PAC-TE, October 2009: Education Career Services: Preparing Students from Day One
  • Association of Teacher Educators, February, 2009: Creating Effective Leadership in Pre-service Teachers through Collaborative Community Projects
  • The National Reading Conference, November, 2008: The Effects of Three Methods of Introducing Vocabulary to Elementary Students: Traditional, Friendly Definitions, and Parsing
  • PAC-TE, October, 2008: Developing Holistic Leaders to Meet the Needs of the Whole Child
  • PAC-TE, October 2008: Making Practicum More Practical

Awards, Grants, Academic & Community Interests

  • Grove City College ODK Professor of the Year, 2014
  • The Midwestern Institute for Early Childhood Education at Grove City College
  • Coordinator of Grove City College Heinz Endowments Grant
  • Counselor of Distinction, Kappa Delta Pi, 2009
  • Grove City College Kappa Delta Pi Distinguished Educator Award, 2008
  • Recipient of Roger Grein Philanthropy in Higher Education Grant, 2008-2009
  • January 2014-Present: Board of Directors, Steering Committee: Hope Center for the Arts and Technology, Sharon/Farrell area, Pennsylvania.
  • April, 2012-Present: Educational consultant, Synergy Community Foundation.
  • February, 2012-November 2012: Special appointment by Governor Tom Corbett to the Pennsylvania Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education.
  • September, 2011-Present: Executive Council Member, Midwestern Early Childhood Council, and Co-Coordinator of the Early Childhood Professional Development Outreach at Grove City College.
  • 2006, 2007, 2008 Pennsylvania Department of Education: Participant in Pennsylvania Middle Level Certification Guideline Committee
  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Testimony to the House Education Committee, October, 2013
  • Government Relations Committee, Pennsylvania Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • Middle Level Work Group, Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • May 2010-2013: Collaborator, Steering Committee Member Northwestern Pennsylvania STEM Initiative
  • Synergy Community Foundation
  • The Hope Center for Arts and Technology, Board of Directors
  • Grove City Area School District, School Board

Research Interests

My instructional expertise includes literacy instruction with a focus on at risk student populations and students in need of additional supports. In addition to literacy I work in areas related to school equity, access to education, and school leadership and teacher quality.  

I’m thankful to work at an institution that allows me to exercise my scholarship through service. I currently serve on several boards related to improving educational outcomes for school systems, adult and at-risk learners, and children living in poverty.

Specific Courses or Specialities

I teach courses that teach teachers how to teach literacy and the integrated language arts to students in elementary through middle school. I also teach a course for upperclassmen that focusses on educational advocacy and leadership in schools and communities.

Prior to joining the faculty of GCC I served as a reading specialist in an urban school setting. My course combine my practical and academic expertise to provide my preservice teachers with both the theory, content, and hands-on experience as educational change makers to focus on how all teachers can lead through outstanding pedagogy and service. 

  • Reading Disabilities (SEDU 308), 2012-Present
  • Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education (EDUC 343), 2001-Present
  • Elementary Student Teaching (EDUC 441/443), 2001-2014
  • Teaching Elementary Mathematics (EDUC 327), 2001-2006
  • Teaching Elementary Reading (EDUC 323), 2006-2009
  • Teaching Elementary Language Arts (EDUC 326), 2006-2009
  • Developmental Reading (ENGL 401), 2008-Present
  • Teaching Upper Elementary/Middle Level Literacy (EDUC 326), 2010-Present

Advice for Students

Horace Mann once stated to college graduates that they should, “Be ashamed to die until they have won some victory for humanity.” I tell our students here at GCC that each of them is our victory. To teach a teacher is to have a hand in lifting-up society.  Here in the Education Department we are completely focused on how the interactions we have with our students today will impact their future classrooms tomorrow. When you combine the science of learning with the art of unlocking human potential it is a powerful calling.

Personal Interests/Hobbies

  • Long distance running