About us

Dr. Nicole Johnson, ED.D.

Dr. Nicole Johnson, ED.D.


Dr. Nicole Johnson, Ed.D. earned her terminal degree from Pepperdine University. While in the doctoral program, she positioned herself as an expert on the topic of dissertation support. She created instructional DVD's to support doctoral students and founded her own coaching and consulting practice for graduate and doctoral students while in her doctoral program. Dr. Johnson was an invited guest panelist at Eastern Kentucky University Dissertation Symposium, and presented a portion of her dissertation at the American Psychological Association (APA) 120th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida in 2012. Her dissertation The Path to Graduation: A Model Interactive Web site Design Supporting Doctoral Students focused on redesigning the dissertation support website and helping doctoral students through the dissertation phase.

She has presented her ideas, products, and services in the national and international arena, including Hawaii, Los Angeles, Monterrey, Mexico, Sacramento, Paris, France, San Diego, and Washington DC. 

Her DVD is a collaborative effort and is entitled A Thin Book for 1st Year Doctoral Students. It is available on Amazon.com

Pepperdine University Colleague Magazine has featured Dr. Johnson in several editions from 2008 until present.


Grounded in Tinto’s (1993) Theory of Institutional Departure
Diss. Simmons-Johnson, N.Pepperdine University, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2012. 3516945. 

About the Company

During these difficult economic times, I have come to realize that I am my greatest asset. Thus, I resigned from my position as a literacy coach with the Los Angeles Unified School District to start The ABC Coach, a business modeled on my own experience and designed to encourage students to reach their fullest potential.

The ABC Coach (which stands for Appreciating Strengths, Blazing Trails, and Changing Lives) started as a passion project in an entrepreneurship class in my program at GSEP. The course, led by visiting faculty member Dr. Vance Caesar, encouraged me to find my niche, brand myself differently, and be “best” at something. So I developed a resource to help students map out their educational path using coaching strategies such as observation, inquiry, and self instruments.

This interest also inspired me to write A Thin Book for 1st-Year Doctoral Students—a simple guide for those considering or enrolled in a doctoral program to turn obstacles into opportunities and adversities into advantages. I searched for this book as I started my own journey in a doctoral program in 2006, but, when I couldn’t find it, I decided that I should document and share my personal process with others who might benefit from these stories. I also collaborated with colleagues, other students, and alumni from GSEP, who contributed their voices to offer a broader perspective of what a doctoral program entails.