Ashley Nielsen, PhD

Antioch University
Home Faculty Directory Ashley Nielsen, PhD

Ashley received her PhD in Humanistic Psychology at Saybrook University, proposing a new philosophy of education and educational design in her dissertation, Regenerative Education and Living Schools. She studied Transpersonal Psychology and child meditation at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology now Sophia University for her Master’s degree.

Ashley has taught across the spectrum from preschool to doctorate level. She began teaching at a Montessori school before teaching for over ten years at the community college level where she worked at award-winning Hispanic and Native American serving Institutions in California and New Mexico. During this time she taught and built a variety of classes and programs including Service Learning. Ashley came to Antioch University to direct the successful Title III grant focused on College to Career development for the Santa Barbara undergraduate program. She has taught classes in the undergraduate and PsyD programs, including authoring the Psychology BA degree. Currently, she is teaching in the Master of Arts Program in Individualized Studies (IMA Program) and in the EDD program.

In addition to teaching, Ashley also is a Learning Architect Consultant where she works with companies, schools, and community organizations to design holistic and regenerative ecosystems of learning.

She is also the co-founder of a nonprofit called Roots2Change which focuses on bringing regenerative ideas to community development. Through this nonprofit, she developed a dual credit Community Leadership Certificate program called the Convergence Project which brings youth from diverse backgrounds to lead youth initiatives, “For youth, by youth.”

To her educational endeavors she brings her research and interests in Transpersonal and Ecopsychology, Eastern philosophies, human development, systems thinking, and gamification, to name a few. She loves helping students discover their passion and reach their potential. When she is not working, she is satisfying her wanderlust with her family exploring the world, and eating good food.


Master of Arts in Individualized Studies

Teaching Faculty

Master of Arts in Individualized Studies and Educational & Professional Practice (EdD)

  • Art of Observation
  • Personal Relationships
  • Learning and Memory
  • Teaching Psychology
  • Foundations of Individual Learning in Social Science
  • Foundations of Individual Learning in Humanities
  • Thesis Preparation, Thesis, and Capstone
  • Senior Project
  • Social Science Research Method
  • Methods of Inquiry: Using Data
  • Transformative Course Research Project
  • Surveying Student Mental Health
  • UX in Higher Education
  • Foundations of Transpersonal Psychology
  • Foundations of Social Justice Leadership
  • Taoist Pedagogy
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