As dean of students, Colette Davison, PhD, ensures that all students have the best possible experience at Erikson by responding to their concerns and addressing their needs to ensure that they have the support they need to thrive and succeed.
“At Erikson, we focus on getting to know our students individually so that we can help them realize their potential and develop the skills that will truly make them leaders in the field,” she says. “We have a rigorous curriculum, but it is accompanied by a support system that is accessible to every student.”
In her role, Dr. Davison also coordinates disability services and accommodations for students and facilitates an interdisciplinary committee that works to make sure that all Erikson students and staff have access to learning resources. She also serves as one of Erikson’s Title IX compliance officers.
Dr. Davison supports adjunct faculty in the Master of Science in Child Development program and works closely with the director of field education and career counseling for the MSW program, the coordinator of field and career services for the MS in Child Development program, the Academic Success Center, the Edward Neisser Library, Enrollment Management, Registration, Information Technology, and the Distance Learning team to help coordinate the student experience on and off campus.
In addition to her role as dean of students, Dr. Davison is the director of the MS in Child Development, the MS in Child Development/MJ in Children’s Law and Policy dual degree program offered in conjunction with Loyola University Chicago, and the Children’s Law and Policy concentration. She also works closely with the Human Development teaching team and jointly teaches the course Children, Family, and the Law with faculty from Loyola University’s Civitas ChildLaw Center.
“When teaching, I try to understand the unique knowledge base and life experiences that each student brings to Erikson, and help them build on their knowledge and critical thinking process from there,” she says. “It’s also important for me to understand students’ social and cultural backgrounds, as well as their particular learning styles, so that I can create an environment that is inclusive and supportive.”
Prior to joining Erikson, Dr. Davison worked extensively in the education and mental health fields, including as a developmental and educational psychologist working with traumatized children and families in areas of Northern Ireland affected by politically motivated violence.
- BA in Hispanic studies, University of Manchester, England
- Certificate of Education in audiology and education of the deaf, University of Manchester, England
- MS in developmental and educational psychology, Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland
- PhD in clinical psychology, Northwestern University
Areas of Expertise
- Social and emotional development
- Student support services
- Accessibility and disability services for graduate students
- Program research and development
- Trauma related to living in conditions of civil unrest
- Erikson’s Master of Social Work program development, June 2010-June 2014
- Researched graduate social work education across the United States as a basis for a Erikson program
- Co-led a team of faculty and staff to design an innovative and unique program integrating child development knowledge with social work, the first of its kind in the nation
- Dissertation: Clinician Factors in Substance Abuse Treatment, Northwestern University, June 1995.
- Master’s level dissertation examined teacher attitudes toward speech-impaired children integrated into regular classrooms, Queens University of Belfast.
- Served on a professional team researching and evaluating educational and psychological provision for hearing-impaired children in Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland (1983). The team reported its findings to the Northern Ireland Legislature and made recommendations for future educational and psychological provision for children and their families.
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Related professional experience
- Co-chair, Curriculum Designer, and Coordinator; Steering committee for developing MSW program, Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL, 2010–2014
- Co-Director, Erikson’s Dual Master’s Degree in Child Development and Social Work with Loyola University, 1998-2014
- Senior Instructor, Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL, 1996–2013
- Consultant to VOA Architectural Associates of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2004–2005
- Consultant, Ada S. McKinley Center of Chicago, Chicago, IL 2004–2006
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