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Board of Trustees extends contract for President Dr. Michele Nealon

Under the leadership of President Michele Nealon, Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has grown enrollment, exceeded national benchmarks for student retention, increased the breadth of program offerings across geographic, and teaching modalities by 300 percent, and established four new Centers of Excellence committed to enhancing scholarship and academic quality for students, faculty and staff. For these reasons and several more, The Chicago School’s Board of Trustees recently voted unanimously to extend Dr. Nealon’s contract as president through 2020.

Dr. Nealon was named president in 2010. As such, she has provided strategic leadership to the school’s three on-ground campuses in Chicago, Southern California (Los Angeles and Irvine), Washington, D.C., and also the Online Campus. The institution serves nearly 4,300 students and offers more than 25 degree programs grounded in its core values of education, innovation, service and community.

“Dr. Nealon has dedicated her professional career to the mission of this institution and is a tireless advocate for academic quality and the success of our students,” commented TCSPP’s Board Chair Linda Harvard, M.B.A. “We are fortunate to have her loyalty, steadfast commitment, and continued guidance as we strive to be recognized as the world’s preeminent university of psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences.”

“I am very privileged to be part of the inspirational tale of a fledgling graduate school that took root 36 years ago with a single campus and a single degree program that has now evolved into a university with coast-to-coast campuses, international reach, and an impact that is felt in areas once thought to have nothing to do with psychology,” said Dr. Nealon. “I am especially thankful to our remarkable faculty that make us who we are today and who work diligently to ensure that our students are the best they can be. With their continued engagement and excellence, I have no doubt The Chicago School will continue to rise above the norm and thrive in the advancement of our core values.”

Many of The Chicago School’s recent successes were achieved as part of Dr. Nealon commitment to strategically boost the school’s visibility as a global leader in psychology education and innovator in placing mental health at the center of national health care dialogue. For example, to kick off its 35th year anniversary in 2014, The Chicago School held a series of symposia focused on the role of mental health in everyday life and in the health care system. Dr. Nealon moderated several events in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, bringing together experts to discuss solutions to the nation’s mental health crisis.

Also in 2014, with a vision to integrate the health sciences profession into psychology, Dr. Nealon oversaw the launch of The Chicago School’s Master of Public Health Program, the inaugural degree program for its new College of Health Sciences and Human Services, and eight new degree programs for the university’s Online Campus, including the first online licensure program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She also established The Chicago School’s first Bachelor’s Completion Program in Psychology, creating a seamless transition for students into graduate psychology education, and signaling the establishment of the new Undergraduate Studies Division at The Chicago School.

Four new centers were also established under Dr. Nealon leadership during the last five years: The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), the National Center for Academic and Dissertation Excellence (NCADE), the National Training and Licensure Affairs Office, and the Institute of Professional and Continuing Studies (IPCS).

Dr. Nealon has also strengthened The Chicago School’s commitment to the community by encouraging increased service from faculty, staff, students and alumni. As a result, all service records were broken in 2014 with nearly 1.2 million hours donated to a dozen nonprofit and community organizations in Chicago, including the Anti-Cruelty Society and Ronald McDonald House; 11 sites in Southern California, including the Los Angeles Mission, L.A. Works, local food banks and the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs; and three sites in Washington, D.C. that include the Children’s National Medical Center.

Given this impact, in 2015, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a university can receive for exemplary service learning and civic engagement, once again recognized the Chicago School’s commitment to community. For the first time, all three ground campuses were named to the honor roll. It was the seventh year of recognition for the Chicago Campus, the second for Southern California and the first for Washington, D.C.

Dr. Nealon now leads a new ambitious and visionary five-year Strategic Plan – Toward a Healthier World – that promises to guide The Chicago School’s continued evolution as a leader in the field of professional psychology and the integral role it plays in healthcare.

Dr. Nealon began her training in clinical psychology in Dublin, Ireland, earning Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from University College Dublin before moving to the U.S. in 1994, where she worked with the child welfare system in Illinois.  She is an alumna of the Chicago Campus’ doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. In addition to President, Dr. Nealon has served in a variety of leadership roles including professor, department chair, and campus president for the Los Angeles Campus.  She received the Distinguished Teaching Award in the area of public service teaching, and was recognized as the Psy.D. Program Faculty of the Year.

Dr. Nealon is an accomplished speaker on a wide range of psychology-related topics and is a regular blogger on The Huffington Post. To request Dr. Nealon as a speaker, please contact Elinor Gilbert, (213) 283-4255. Follow Dr. Nealon on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit, private university devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences. The university serves nearly 4,300 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles and Irvine); and Washington, D.C., as well as through online programs. The Chicago School is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, (WSCUC), and its Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program in Chicago is accredited by the American Psychological Association. A member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, TCSPP is recognized for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. The community service initiatives on the Chicago Campus have also earned recognition on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for seven consecutive years. The Los Angeles Campus gained its second recognition in 2014, and its Washington, D.C. Campus received its first award in 2014. With more than 50 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology education. To learn more, visit


Elinor Gilbert
[email protected]