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About Us

Our Team

The CAEL team draws great strength from its varied set of backgrounds and skills. But we hold one very important quality in common: dedicated expertise in forging the connections between learning and work that adult learnersand their communitiesdepend on for social mobility and economic equity.

Kristen Himmerick

Vice President, Solutions

Kristen Himmerick is a higher education and nonprofit administrator with extensive experience working with higher education institutions and systems to launch large-scale academic technology projects. She joined CAEL in June 2012 as Director of Academic Technology and Student Engagement for the CAEL’s national portfolio assessment program, LearningCounts. After leading the internal operations of LearningCounts for many years-as well as platform design- she is now the Vice President of the Solutions Team, which focuses on developing technology to support regional, workforce, and higher education initiatives. In addition to tech development, Himmerick leads the team that manages and supports two of CAEL's industry-education partnerships, EPCE and NACTEL. CAEL fosters collaboration between employers and corporation, industry associations, contractors, labor unions, and higher education institutions to design and deliver industry-approved education solutions that support training, upskilling, and reskilling of employees to meet today's energy and communications needs while preparing for the workforce of the future. Himmerick has a special interest in linking learning and work for a region or industry. 

Before joining CAEL, Himmerick was part of the Innovation Lab at Southern New Hampshire University, where she helped author the proposal for a self-paced, competency-based associate degree awarded the $1MM Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant for College Completion (SNHU’s College for America Program). Before SNHU, Himmerick was the District Director of Academic Technology at the City Colleges of Chicago, managing the first system-wide LMS and student email system launches.

She earned an M. Ed., concentration in eLearning from the University of Illinois, and holds a B.S. in Communication Studies and a Musical Theater certificate from Northwestern University. Himmerick is a Prosci Certified Change Management Practitioner. Also an actress and singer, Himmerick has performed in theaters across Chicago. Past regional theater appearances include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Second City, and Drury Lane Oak Brook.


Areas of Expertise : Himmerick has extensive experience in these areas: Effective online training Technology project and implementation management Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) project management

Board Members

Advisory Council