Phone: 866-762-7861
About BrainSMART


BrainSMART is a global leader in integrating educational, cognitive, and brain research into practical graduate degree programs for educators. Thousands of teachers and administrators from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Canada, and 48 states in the United States are applying what they have learned from these unique graduate programs earned online through Nova Southeastern University. The programs are so effective that 98% of graduates responding to a survey say they have learned new strategies, and 96% say they will recommend the course studies to colleagues. BrainSMART also partners with the National Association of Elementary School Principals to offer short courses, workshops, and conferences in the BrainSMART Leading for Learning® series. 

Donna Wilson, PhD, educational and school psychologist and former teacher, is president and head of academic affairs at BrainSMART. She has led in the co-development of the Master of Science and Educational Specialist degrees with a Major in Brain-Based Teaching and the doctoral minor in Brain-Based Leadership with Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Wilson is the former chair of the education department at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she co-developed a unique cohort and field-based master’s degree for teachers, with a focus on cognition and motivation in diverse classrooms. She then co-led two important implementations: (1) an application of the BrainSMART® approach with two large school districts supported by an Annenberg Challenge Grant with Florida Atlantic University and (2) a three-year Florida Department of Education initiative using BrainSMART®, called Scholarships for Teachers in Action Research (STAR). The effectiveness of these initiatives resulted in the development of the NSU graduate degree programs.  

Since 1980, Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, founders of BrainSMART®, have been translating implications of research into practical frameworks for teaching, learning, and leading. They developed their approach while working directly with more than 10,000 K-12 students before sharing their philosophy and strategies with approximately 150,000 educators who reach more than 1 million students. They have written 20 books on teaching and student achievement, including BrainSMART® 60 Strategies for Increasing Student Learning, Thinking for Results: Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by as Much as 30 Percent, Courageous Learners: Increasing Student Achievement in Diverse Learning Communities, and the Wiring the Brain to Read trilogy. In addition, their Administrator’s Workbook for Increasing Student Achievement: BrainSMART® Strategies for Leading and Teaching puts into practice the Standards for Leading Learning Communities of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Wilson and Conyers have shared their work at many state, regional, national, and international conferences for organizations including:

  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • International Reading Association
  • National Education Association
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Dropout Prevention Network
  • National Staff Development Council
  • South African Principals’ Association

In March 2000, BrainSMART and Nova Southeastern University began working together to make the BrainSMART® approach available across the United States and internationally through innovative graduate programs delivered online. To date, almost 3,000 educators from 48 states* and several countries, including Canada, Japan, Malaysia, France, and Egypt, have entered these highly rated programs, which are regarded as among the first of their kind in the world.

* Every state except Nebraska and South Dakota.

BrainSMART® is a registered trademark of BrainSMART, Inc