Denise Pearson

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives

Denise Pearson joined SHEEO in February 2016. She serves as the vice president of academic affairs and equity initiatives. In this role, she works closely with chief academic officers on a wide range of policies and practices areas aligned with states’ higher education goals and priorities. Dr. Pearson’s portfolio of work includes a focus on minority serving institutions, teacher preparation, accreditation, and student learning. She also leads SHEEO’s work around equity and inclusion across organizational and state policy and practice areas. Prior to joining SHEEO, Dr. Pearson worked for five years at Winston-Salem State University as a tenured professor of education and in a variety of leadership positions, including dean of the faculty of education and assistant provost of faculty affairs. She previously worked for the University of Denver as associate academic dean in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies for eight years. Pearson holds a Ph.D. in administration and supervision of education from Marquette University, an M.A. in conflict resolution from University of Denver, an M.S. in education administration from Concordia University, and a B.A. in human services from Pace University. Outside of her work, Dr. Pearson enjoys spending time with her family and exploring the wonders of veganism.
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See work by Denise Pearson

Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs

Research highlights the critical importance of a racially diverse teaching corps in American schools, especially for the large numbers of students of color confronted with the challenges of growing up amidst low-resourced school districts and communities. Furthermore, schools staffed with diverse teachers support the intellectual and social development of white students in an increasingly diverse country. Project Pipeline Repair is an innovative approach to mitigating teacher shortages and increasing the…

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Strategic Priorities for Historically Black Colleges and Universities with Teacher Preparation Programs

by Ivory A. Toldson & Denise Pearson

For this report, SHEEO surveyed selected historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and HBCU-adjacent school districts to help state higher education executives (SHEEOs) and nongovernmental organizations understand what drives successful teacher preparation at HBCUs. The report suggests ways to use HBCUs as resources to resolve longstanding racial disparities and inequities in majority-minority school districts. We address partnerships with surrounding school districts, professional development, college preparedness, standardized exams, and quality teacher…

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New SHEEO White Paper: Postsecondary Education for Incarcerated Individuals: Guidance for State Agencies and Systems of Higher Education

by Annahita Jimmerson

Written by Denise Pearson and Kelsey Heckert The United States leads the world in the number of incarcerated persons per 100,000.1In today’s global economy, these numbers represent huge wastes in human capital, especially when you consider the inequitable nature of the American criminal justice system, as witnessed by the disproportionate racial and ethnic composition, types of crimes, and length of prison sentences represented within this population. Regardless of the pathway…

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