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CHICAGO – The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) today announced that Marie Cini, Ph.D., has been named incoming president of the national nonprofit, working at the intersection of education and employment to advance opportunities for adult students. Current CAEL President and CEO Pamela Tate will join Strada Education NetworkSM as Chief National Partnerships Officer. Both leaders will assume their new roles effective July 1, 2018, and will be working closely together in the interim to ensure a smooth transition.


Dr. Cini is a recognized leader in the adult-serving higher education sector focusing on innovative postsecondary models for today's new majority students. Most recently, she served as the higher ed lead for the modernization of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, a contract with IBM to create high-quality educational and career pathways for military personnel. Cini also served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the nation’s largest online public institution, serving 85,000 students. There she led major transformative initiatives to improve student outcomes, including the development of a competency-based curriculum in the Undergraduate School, the creation of the Center for Innovation in Learning and Student Success, and the shift to all open educational resources to replace publisher textbooks.


“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Cini to lead the next chapter of CAEL as we accelerate its legacy of innovation and leadership to strengthen education-to-employment pathways for adult learners,” said William D. Hansen, CAEL trustee and president and CEO of Strada Education Network, which CAEL joined as an affiliate earlier this year. “We seized the opportunity to engage Marie given her availability as a consultant, and the timing was ideal as we were in talks with Pam about ways to leverage her expertise and experience across our growing network of affiliates.”


For nearly three decades, Tate has championed CAEL’s growth and involvement in public policy, innovative workforce education services for employers and adult learners, and systemic change efforts throughout higher education, the government sector and the private sector. Tate and her team have led programs that unite business, government, labor and postsecondary education to address workforce skill shortages — resulting in online, industry-sponsored degree and certificate programs, industrywide career pathways programs, and regional lifelong learning and talent development initiatives.


Strada tapped Tate to leverage her experience and national networks by serving as chief national partnerships officer, reporting to Hansen. “Strada’s model to deliver mission impact is through strategic partnerships,” explained Hansen. “We engage partners across education, nonprofits, business and government to focus on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. We are fortunate to have a national leader with Pam’s expertise to help us continue to strengthen and scale these critical relationships across our network.”


Cini joins CAEL with a long history of partnership. “I’m honored to join a team that I’ve admired and worked with for years,” said Cini. “It’s humbling to be entrusted with advancing CAEL’s essential mission at this watershed moment for adult learners and higher ed in our nation. I’m grateful for Pam’s leadership, mentorship and friendship, and I’m eager to work with CAEL’s outstanding team of experts to build on its current models and innovate new ways to serve this critical population of new traditional students.”


Under Dr. Cini’s leadership, CAEL will continue to offer valued solutions and services across the education-to-workforce pipeline, including:

  • Employer-Education Partnerships: Providing employers with talent management, career development and education solutions that enable employees to pursue career pathways and educational experiences at the same time.
  • Learning in Context: Helping higher education institutions and systems support and graduate adults, veterans and other underserved populations of students.
  • New Pathways: Conducting research to help eliminate barriers to education access and success.
  • Workforce and Economic Development: Delivering expert insights that help community leaders drive economic growth by fostering conditions that support a robust and talented workforce.

“I can’t think of a better person to build on CAEL’s 44-year history helping millions of adult learners get the education and credentials they need and deserve to achieve successful careers and lives. Marie is the ideal leader to take the organization forward,” said Tate. “It has been an absolute privilege to serve CAEL’s mission. I look forward to continuing to support Marie and the CAEL team through my new role with Strada and as a member of CAEL’s Advisory Council.”


CAEL Introduces incoming president, Dr. Marie Cini

Dr. Marie Cini Incoming President of CAEL

Dr. Cini served previously as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the nation’s largest online nonprofit institution serving 85,000 students and a leading global institution in educating adult learners. While at UMUC, Dr. Cini led several major initiatives including the development of a competency-based curriculum in the Undergraduate School, the creation of the Center for Innovation in Learning and Student Success, and the shift to all Open Educational Resources to replace publisher textbooks. These changes created greater success outcomes for students and significantly decreased the expense of college attendance.


Prior to her role as Provost, Cini served as the dean of the undergraduate school, serving 67,000 students worldwide. A national leader in online and adult education, Dr. Cini also served as the President of the Board for the Online Learning Consortium, and for the last several months was a consultant for the modernization of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, through a contract with IBM and the U.S. Defense Department to create high quality educational and career pathways for service members. Dr. Cini earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.



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OPTION 1. Support CAEL's Work
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OPTION 2. The Forward Together Fund (FTF)

The Forward Together Fund (FTF) is a group of donors uniting with CAEL for American Success and is led by members of CAEL's Leaders Council who contribute at a level of $10,000 and above.The FTF is an ongoing fundraising initiative that allows CAEL to respond quickly to the policy and advocacy needs of our adult learner constituents not covered by CAEL's funders.

The truth is that the majority of CAEL's current revenue sources don't fund policy or advocacy, nor research and development. With only a small pool of funders that support adult postsecondary degree attainment and/or workforce development programs, your support is urgent. To read more about the Forward Together Fund click here.

OPTION 3. Your Estate or Planned Gift
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