Christopher Nicholson, PhD

Associate Consultant

Christopher NicholsonDr. Christopher Nicholson consults for Ruffalo Noel Levitz from his position as assistant dean of enrollment, marketing, and partnerships for University College at the University of Denver (CO). He has more than 20 years of experience and expertise in enrollment, marketing, program development, and developing academic partnerships, all with a focus on post-traditional learners.

In his role at the University of Denver, Dr. Nicholson leads recruitment, enrollment, advising, and marketing for 12 degree and 50 graduate certificate programs that enroll more than 1,400 students in online, face-to-face, hybrid, and hyflex courses. He also oversees marketing for a robust non-credit portfolio that serves more than 2,000 learners annually. Upon coming to the University of Denver, Dr. Nicholson implemented a comprehensive, data-informed enrollment model and plan that increased enrollment funnel yields 5-10 percent, lifted new students by 15 percent, increased overall enrollment 5 percent, and decreased enrollment melt. He has developed robust collaborations with external partners to drive for-credit and non-credit enrollment growth, and provides expertise and guidance to other University of Denver academic units on graduate program development, enrollment, and marketing strategy.
Previously, Dr. Nicholson led enrollment, marketing, and new program development for graduate/adult programs at North Park University (IL), where he achieved record new student and total enrollment across all programs, grew revenue by 125 percent, successfully launched over 20 new academic programs (many of them fully online), developed academic partnerships with institutions in China and Canada, led the development of the university’s first fully functional off-site campus, and developed partnerships with over 10 high-profile organizations, including the City of Chicago and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.

Over the past 16 years, Dr. Nicholson has taught online and face-to-face undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing and higher education administration, redesigned and developed curriculum, and for nearly a decade led annual two-week study abroad experiences for post-traditional students.

Associations, presentations, and education

Dr. Nicholson serves as chair of the enrollment, marketing, and student services network of the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).

He routinely presents at numerous national conferences on enrollment, marketing, and program development for post traditional learners, including those sponsored by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, UPCEA, Academic Impressions, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), Christian Adult Higher Education Association, and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Dr. Nicholson has also lectured internationally in China.

Dr. Nicholson is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the American Marketing Association, the History of Education Society, the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

Dr. Nicholson received his PhD in higher education from Loyola University Chicago (IL). He also has an MBA from North Park University.

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