Nicole Garcia is a Program Associate with WestEd’s Special Education Policy and Practice team.
As a member of the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), Garcia partners with states and districts to improve outcomes for students with disabilities while leveraging her background as a state and district leader to drive systems alignment and coherence. Garcia’s expertise includes special education compliance; monitoring systems; coaching and professional development; differentiated technical assistance; data analysis; supports in large, urban districts; and dispute resolution. Garcia currently leads WestEd’s work with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) on improving secondary transition compliance and outcomes for students with disabilities.
Prior to joining WestEd, Garcia served as an Education Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education, where she supported special education through monitoring and providing technical assistance to school districts. Garcia also brings expertise from having been the Deputy Director of Academic Programs for the District of Columbia Public Schools and from being a trained mental health counselor who has provided in-home early intervention services to children with developmental delays and autism spectrum disorders.
Garcia holds an MA from Boston College, Lynch School of Education, in counseling psychology with an emphasis in mental health counseling, and a BA in psychology from San Diego State University.