NWC appoints dean of Graduate School & Adult Learning division

Gary Richardson, dean of Graduate & Adult LearningNorthwestern College has announced the hiring of Gary Richardson as dean of the Graduate School & Adult Learning (GSAL) division. Richardson will lead the division’s staff and faculty in the continued growth of GSAL programs, seeking to meet the needs of adult learners in both face-to-face and online environments. He will also oversee GSAL operations and marketing activities and will work across campus to provide collaborative service to Northwestern’s adult students.

“Gary is a gracious and supportive leader who loves and follows Christ in ways that impact his daily work,” says Dr. D. Nathan Phinney, vice president for academic affairs. “His ambition for mission-aligned organizational growth will be essential as we seek new adult students to join Raider Nation.”

With nearly 35 years of educational administration experience, Richardson has worked as a consultant and leadership coach for School Administrators of Iowa and as superintendent at MOC-Floyd Valley, West Sioux, and Harris-Lake Park. He has also served as a professor of practice and director for Northwestern’s Master of Education program and has helped develop the college’s graduate internship programs and principal licensure program. Richardson earned a master’s degree in education from Drake University and an Education Specialist degree from Iowa State University.

“Adult learning is the key to keeping skills current in an ever-changing world, which consistently introduces new technology and different practices in our occupations,” Richardson says. “I value this opportunity to be part of Northwestern’s academic leadership team as we seek to understand future trends that will impact learners for many years to come.”

Since 2013, Northwestern’s Graduate School & Adult Learning division has grown from enrolling 30 students to nearly 600. Program offerings include master’s degrees in education (eight tracks) and physician assistant studies, as well as school and clinical mental health counseling. The division also offers graduate-level education endorsements and certificates, certificates in legal and medical interpreting, and undergraduate degree-completion programs in early childhood education and nursing. For more information about these programs, visit nwciowa.edu/online.

Richardson replaces Dr. Rebecca Hoey, who left Northwestern last summer to become associate vice president of academic programming for the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Explore graduate studies & adult learning at Northwestern

Northwestern’s Graduate School & Adult Learning division offers flexible, affordable programs designed to help adult learners meet their professional goals. Many programs have 100% online coursework, including master's degrees in education (eight tracks); school and clinical mental health counseling; graduate-level education endorsements and certificates; undergraduate degree-completion programs in early childhood education and nursing; and certificates in medical and legal interpreting. The division also offers an on-campus master's degree in physician assistant studies, which is accredited by the ARC-PA.