Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)


Dr. Stephanie Bernoteit serves as Deputy Director for Academic Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). In this capacity, she oversees the agency’s regulatory work with approximately 400 postsecondary institutions, including public and private universities and private business and vocational schools. Dr. Bernoteit is responsible for the agency’s initiatives to promote postsecondary student success and workforce development. She serves on the Illinois P-20 Council, Illinois Early Learning Council, and the Illinois Attendance Commission and is co-chair of the state’s Early Childhood Professional Development Advisory Committee. Stephanie is currently engaged in work with the Illinois State Board of Education to connect Illinois institutions of higher education to a statewide pilot of competency-based education (CBE) among K-12 school districts. She also leads with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development and the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies a statewide effort to enact a competency-based system of educator preparation, professional development, and credentialing in the field of early childhood education in Illinois. Dr. Bernoteit is co-author of two publications about this effort (Voices from the Field: Collaborative Innovations in Early Childhood Educator Preparation and Advancing the Illinois Early Childhood Education Workforce: A Model College and Career Pathway).

Prior to joining IBHE, Stephanie Bernoteit worked at Illinois State University as executive director for alumni relations and co-director of the School of Education’s National Board Resource Center. A National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood from 1996-2016, Stephanie spent several years at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as staff liaison to higher education. She also worked as an early childhood and elementary classroom teacher in the West Des Moines Community School District. Stephanie holds a doctorate in education from Illinois State University, a graduate certificate in non-profit leadership from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in education from Drake University, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood from Northwest Missouri State University.

Dr. Bernoteit can be reached at


Vice Provost; Vice Chancellor, Brandman University


Dr. Laurie Dodge, Vice Chancellor Institutional Assessment & Planning and Vice Provost at Brandman University, served as a key leader in the building of Brandman’s undergraduate and graduate direct assessment competency-based education programs. Dr. Dodge has served in numerous capacities at Brandman University including department chair, interim dean, director of assessment, interim co-vice chancellor of academic affairs, and professor.

Dr. Dodge is the WASC Senior University and College Commission (WSCUC) Accreditation Liaison Officer for Brandman University and serves on the WSCUC Substantive Change Committee. At the national level, Dr. Dodge has participated in CBE related projects, Comprehensive Learner Record, QA Commons Essential Employability Qualities Certification, and Credential Engine (Higher Education Advisory Group).

Dr. Dodge has presented nationally and internationally on CBE and her expertise are in assessment, curriculum development, accreditation, and academic policy. Laurie co-authored a book titled “A Leader’s Guide to Competency-Based Education: From Inception to Implementation” (Bushway, Dodge, & Long, 2018). Dr. Dodge is the inaugural President of the Board of Directors for the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN). In 2016, Dr. Laurie Dodge was named one of the “The Sixteen Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly.

Dr. Dodge can be reached at


Assistant Vice President of Academic Innovation, Rasmussen College


Brooks Doherty is Assistant Vice President of Academic Innovation at Rasmussen College. He is completing a doctorate in education at St. Mary’s University, earned an MA in literature from University College London, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Political Science and English. His central areas of interest are competency-based education, developmental education, workforce preparedness, the relationship between liberal learning and professional learning, and Irish literature. Prior to his current work, Doherty taught remedial and college-level writing courses for students of varying disciplines.

Brooks can be reached at


Assistant Vice Chancellor for New Learning Models, University System of Georgia


Dr. Myk Garn is an academic innovator and strategist with over 30 years of experience developing, deploying and leading college and state system instructional, operational, organizational, policy and strategic models. He is a committed academic change agent, focusing on the development and deployment of new instructional and educational operations with an emphasis on competency-based, student-driven, advancement-by-mastery models. He emphasizes the roles of faculty and needs of students throughout his work. His experience includes strategic planning, affordability, emerging trends, disruptive innovation, quality standards, governance, accreditation as well as lessons in fast failure for innovation and accessibility of Internet-based instruction and services for learners with disabilities.

Dr. Garn can be reached at



Coordinator for Personalized Learning, Northern Arizona University


Dr. Cori Gordon is the Coordinator for Personalized Learning, a competency-based division at Northern Arizona University. She holds the rank of Associate Clinical Professor and also serves as the Lead Faculty for the Liberal Arts program. She has a Doctorate in English Education and a Masters in Theatre from Arizona State University, and she has a Bachelor’s in Secondary English Education from Indiana University. She has taught students in kindergarten through graduate school, in subjects including English, theatre, storytelling, puppetry, literature, and Composition.

Cori specializes in digital storytelling and innovative educational technologies. She is also a young adult novelist. Her novel, Beauty Isn’t Pretty, is available on Kindle. Dr. Gordon has a breadth of experience with public speaking including academic presentations, in-service professional development presentations, and a variety of performances. She is also a music and pet lover.

Dr. Gordon can be reached at


Director, Primary and Joint Accreditation, American Nurses Credentialing Center


Jennifer Graebe has a professional nursing career spanning 22 years and has a wealth of education and clinical experience. Jennifer received her master of nursing in leadership and health systems management from Drexel University, her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Villanova University; and a certificate in healthcare management, accounting and economics from Johns Hopkins University. Jennifer holds the ANCC Nurse Executive Advanced – Board Certification.

In August 2015, Jennifer joined the American Nurses Enterprise in their subsidiary the American Nurses Credentialing Center as the Senior Operations Manager of Primary and Joint Accreditation. In October of 2017, Jennifer was promoted to the role of Director of Primary and Joint Accreditation. In this role, Jennifer is responsible for the strategic and daily operations of over 450 accredited organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education and interprofessional continuing education.

Jennifer is a published column author and has presented at several conferences nationally. Jennifer is adjunct faculty at Capella University in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and is a PhD candidate in education and public health. Before her role at the ANCC, Jennifer has held positions in leadership at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital as the Clinical Educator and Clinical Manager in the Emergency Department. While at MGUH, Jennifer was recognized as Nurse Leader of the Year (2014) and Nurse of the Year in Nursing Education (2010). Jennifer also holds instructor certificates in basic and advanced cardiac life support.

Jennifer has experience as a board-certified forensic nursing. Jennifer provided interprofessional continuing education in leadership and human trafficking. Until recently, Jennifer continued to work with patients clinically in the Emergency Department and teach courses on High-Reliability Organizations and Medication Safety.

Jennifer can be reached at


Dean, School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties, Salt Lake Community College 


Eric Heiser has worked in higher education for the past 13 years. Eric was a full-time, Assistant Professor, at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, Wyoming for six years and taught in the areas of business, management, and criminal justice. Eric also spent time as a Director and Workforce Training Coordinator during his time with Central. He has spent the past seven years as an academic administrator, serving as a Director, Associate Dean, Interim Dean, and currently as the Dean of the School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties and CTE Director at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).

Prior to moving into Higher Education, he spent time as a General Manager in the hospitality industry. He is the Principal/Owner of Heiser Education Consulting, LLC, an education consulting firm specializing in change management. He has advised numerous colleges in the areas of change management, competency-based education, and leading change through innovation. Eric serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN). He is also a founding member of the National Advisory Board for Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning Research. In addition to his work in CBE, Eric also serves as the Vice-Chair for the National Council of Instructional Administrators, an affiliate council of the AACC. Eric has overseen and is currently leading SLCC’s School of Applied Technology to a transition from a clock-hour format into Competency-Based Education (CBE).

He has spent the past five years working in the area of CBE and Curriculum Development and has been involved in helping to change over 19 academic programs during that time. Eric is a reviewer for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in the area of CBE. He has delivered numerous conference presentations and published several articles on the topic of CBE over the past four years. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Colorado State University.

Dr. Heiser can be reached at


Vice President for Partner Strategy and Innovation, Pathstream


Dr. Lisa McIntyre-Hite is Vice President for Partner Strategy and Innovation at Pathstream. She works with technology companies and colleges across the country to offer digital skills training in conjunction with degree programs. Prior to joining Pathstream, Lisa was the founding Dean for Competency-Based Education at Walden University where she developed Walden’s direct-assessment offering, seeing it through from pilot-to-scale. Her professional passion is rooted in the desire to take measurable steps to address inequity in educational systems and to expand access to high-quality, personalized learning experiences for every learner. Prior to working in higher education, Lisa was a high-school principal and English teacher. Her research in CBE and learning innovation has been published by the Clayton Christensen Institute and is featured in several peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. McIntyre-Hite can be reached at


Director, Fast Track to Success Project, Austin Community College 


Dr. Amardeep Kahlon is the director of Fast Track to Success at Austin Community College. The primary aim of the Fast Track to Success project is to expand competency-based education across Texas.

Dr. Kahlon and her team have worked with several colleges and universities in Texas by holding competency-based education workshops and providing mentoring for emergent competency-based education programs. She serves as the conference chair for annual Fast Track to Success conference, which provides a valuable forum to discuss innovation in higher education across Texas. In October 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education profiled her as one of the top ten innovators for her work in competency-based education.

In addition to Fast Track to Success, Dr. Kahlon is the director of a Texas Affordable Baccalaureate project as well as the Women in Technology program at Austin Community College. Prior to assuming her current roles, Dr. Kahlon spent a sabbatical year (2013-14) in India as the founding dean of academics at an emerging new university. Till 2010, she was an assistant program chair in the computer science/information technology area at Austin Community College. She has presented at local, state, and international conferences and has been invited to speak in different forums.

In addition to competency-based education, Dr. Kahlon is keenly interested in issues facing Asian-Americans in the US. She has served as an invited speaker at Asian-American events and is the co-editor of the 2018 book Asian/American Scholars of Education: 21st Century Pedagogies, Perspectives, and Experiences. She is also very interested in issues related to women and diversity in computing.

Dr. Kahlon’s academic background is in Computer Science and Higher Education. She taught computer science at Broome Community College in New York and Austin Community College in Texas. She has designed and developed traditional, online, and competency-based coursework. With a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and her background in computer science, she brings together the best of both worlds – technical education and higher education.

Dr. Kahlon can be reached at


Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Strategic Education, Inc.


Jillian Klein is Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Strategic Education, Inc. where she works with internal and external partners on higher education policy, postsecondary innovation and federal financial aid compliance on behalf of Capella University and Strayer University. She was part of the team that created Capella University’s FlexPath program offerings, including the first bachelor’s and master’s level programs approved to receive federal financial aid by the Department of Education.

Jillian received a B.A. in business administration from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a M.A. in systematic theology from Luther Seminary, and is an alumna of the Policy Fellows program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young girls.

Jillian can be reached at


President, Nicolet College


Richard’s academic training includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis as well as Master’s and PhD degrees from Cornell University. After graduate school, he spent over ten years in new product, process and business development in the food and beverage industry across the US and Canada. Dr. Nelson then directed a state-wide public non-profit institute for rural economic development providing technical and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the value-added agriculture sector.

After making higher education his career of choice, Richard served as Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division and as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. He became Provost at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack region of northern New York State in 2006 and served in that capacity for nine years. In the summer of 2015, he was named to his current position as President of Nicolet College in northern Wisconsin.

Richard is a strong believer in higher education as the single most important contributor to sustainable prosperity and social well-being in our rural communities. He sees competency-based design, delivery and assessment models as our best answer to the challenges of delivering the quality, flexibility, affordability, and employability so many of today’s learners cannot do without.

Dr. Nelson can be reached at


VP and Chief of Digital Learning, Marquette University 


David Schejbal is vice president and chief of digital learning at Marquette University. He works with faculty and senior leaders across the University to expand Marquette online programs throughout the nation and the world. Prior to Marquette, David was dean of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Extension. David writes and speaks broadly about the future of higher education and how that future is shaped by social, economic, technological, and political forces.

In 2012, he was one of the founding members of C-BEN: The Competency-Based Education Network: A National Consortium for the Development of Higher Education Models. He currently serves on the governing board of that group. David’s academic interests focus on issues of higher education, sustainability, and the environment. His academic background is in philosophy, and he received his doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He was president of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) from 2015-2016. Presently, he is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Army War College and an Executive Committee member of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD).

David can be reached at


Product Strategy Director, Workday


Joellen has worked in higher education serving adult students since 1988. She focuses on the strategic future of credentialing and 21st Century student records, supporting student learning via projects that empower students with metacognitive agency to articulate what they know and can do throughout their educational journey.

UMUC developed a new competency based extended transcript while working on a new comprehensive student record model as part of the Lumina Grant through AACRAO and NASPA in 2016. Ms. Shendy is a member of both the Advisory Board of Credential Engine, a new national registry for credentials and the Competency Based Education Network (C-BEN) and a frequent speaker at higher education conferences including AACRAO, UPCEA, WCET, and Learning Impact Leadership Institute.

Joellen can be reached at

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