Chari Leader Kelley has worked throughout her career on issues of access and success in higher education for historically underserved, first generation and adult students. She is Vice President for LearningCounts.org at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Her work at CAEL encompasses working with states, systems and institutions on degree completion, adult learner needs, and prior learning assessment. Her work for LearningCounts.org, an online prior learning assessment service for all adults, is what she calls “a labor of love.” A long time advocate for prior learning assessment, Dr. Leader Kelley is devoted to ensuring LearningCounts.org’s success in reaching the millions of adults who aspire to a credential or degree for career success.
Prior to joining CAEL, Dr. Leader Kelley was a national consultant working with clients that included the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), where she co-authored a concept called Project Win Win. Project Win Win is now a major IHEP degree completion initiative in multiple states and multiple college/university systems. Project Win Win has successfully re-engaged adults to complete degrees. She has also consulted extensively on issues of student access, transfer and articulation, and enrollment management.
Dr. Leader Kelley joined Excelsior College in 1996 as dean of enrollment management, later becoming vice president of enrollment management. During her tenure at the College, she worked to develop the Admissions office functions, marketing, the call center, and contributed in many ways to the college’s use of its website for a more personalized experience for students. She assisted with moving the college to electronic records, call center technology, name changes and even to online instruction. She worked for Excelsior College for nine years, but has never forgotten the college and her colleagues there.
Previous to her work at Excelsior College, Dr. Leader Kelley worked as Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Bellevue University where she was able to turn around an enrollment decline, paving the path for record enrollment growth.
Chari Leader Kelley earned all of her degrees (baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate) while employed full-time and juggling the demands of three young children. She understands adult learners because she faced the same challenges.
Bachelor of Science in Management of Human Resources – Bellevue University (NE)
Master of Human Relations – University of Oklahoma
Ph.D. in Education from Walden University