Professional Development

What is Our Goal?

We want to help healthcare and early childhood education professionals serving vulnerable populations to maximize their skills and abilities to make a difference.

Why is Professional Development Important?

Federal and state officials have increasingly made workforce development a priority. For example, in the field of early care and education, the U.S. Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Education have invested significant Race to the Top funds to provide training and technical assistance for early childhood professionals. In healthcare, residency programs are being transformed to help future physicians place a greater emphasis on meeting community-level needs. Programs that “train the trainers” have especially powerful downstream effects, influencing many lives for a relatively small investment.

Project ECHO

A grant from The Nicholson Foundation supported the creation of a Project ECHO Academic Medical Center Hub in New Jersey.

What We Do

The Nicholson Foundation fosters professional development by funding high-impact programs that provide training, coaching, and mentoring to enhance the skills and expertise of current and emerging health and early childhood professionals. Projects we fund prepare professionals to move from “pipeline to practice”—putting their knowledge to use on the front lines of service delivery.

Our work in this area includes:

  • Funding the Transforming Early Childhood Leadership Institute for school leaders, teachers, and central office staff from 30 schools across districts that offer Pre-K to Grade 3 instruction to children from vulnerable populations.
  • Supporting the creation of New Jersey’s Project ECHO Academic Medical Center Hub. Project ECHO uses telecommunications technology and case-based learning to foster mentoring partnerships between specialists and primary care providers, thereby enhancing primary care providers’ skills, knowledge, and capacity to deliver quality care to their patients.
  • Supporting Rowan University’s Early Childhood Leadership Building Program, which aims to increase leadership capacity across New Jersey’s early childhood field.