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UPCEA Announces Leadership Teams for New Council for Credential Innovation and Alternative Credentials Network

UPCEA welcomes 31 leaders in alternative credentials to volunteer roles

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 26, 2022) — UPCEA, the association for college and university leaders in online and professional continuing education, announced today the inaugural leadership team for the Council for Credential Innovation (CCI). 

The Council for Credential Innovation is composed of senior leaders charged with driving non-degree credential strategy at the unit or campus level, and key thought leaders from other nonprofit organizations and companies that are actively contributing to the development of the alternative credential space. Each UPCEA member institution has the opportunity to identify a representative to the Council for Credential Innovation. The Council and its leadership will focus on leveraging the strategic potential of non-degree credentials and non-credit education and training to transform institutions of higher education as well as the talent marketplace.

The Council for Credential Innovation Leadership is a volunteer group made up of CCI representatives from UPCEA member organizations: 

Jennifer Bott, Western Michigan University, Chair
Cynthia Baum, Thomas Edison University
Eric Bullard, University of California Los Angeles
Sarah DeMark, Western Governors University
Luke Dowden, Alamo Community College District
Bilita Mattes, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Jenni Murphy, California State University, Sacramento
Anne Reed, University of Buffalo
Rick Russo, University of California Berkeley
Arthur Thomas, Syracuse University
Michael Torrence, Motlow State Community College
Mark Leuba, IMS Global
Sean Gallagher, Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy
Pat Leonard, Credly
Roy Swift, Workcred
Amanda Winters, National Governors’ Association


UPCEA also announced today the Steering Committee for the Alternative Credentials Network. The mission of the Alternative Credentials Network is to share best practices and emerging trends related to non-degree or non-credit credentials, sometimes considered alternative credentials by postsecondary leaders. This is done through the exchange of ideas, programs, services, and initiatives that expand member knowledge regarding new, innovative, and entrepreneurial programs to serve the needs of diverse learners.

The Network represents postsecondary professionals that work within externally focused professional, continuing and online (PCO) divisions and units at post-secondary institutions. Network members are increasingly valued at their institutions as they are at the forefront of an emerging field identified for investment and expansion by many c-suite leaders.

The Alternative Credentials Network Steering Committee is a volunteer group composed of current Vice Chairs for Noncredit as well as other UPCEA members working in the areas of alternative credentials:

Henry Leitner, Harvard University – Co-Chair
Jennifer Kremer, University of California, Davis – Co-Chair
Melissa Peraino, Grand Valley State University – Co-Chair
Gary Chinn, Penn State University – Vice Chair for the Annual Conference
Hilary Culbertson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – Vice Chair for Communications
Chris Edwards, MindEdge – Vice Chair for the Annual Conference
Lisa Kays, Southern Methodist University – Vice Chair for Communications
Carey Kilmer, South Dakota State University – Vice Chair for Communications
Brad Neuenhaus, MindEdge – Vice Chair At-Large
Kelly Newell, Washington State University – Vice Chair for Communications
Clara Piloto, MIT Professional Education – Vice Chair At-Large
Tyler Ritter, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – Vice Chair for the Annual Conference
Beth Romanski, Maryland University of Integrative Health – Vice Chair At-Large
Leslie Tellalian, Boston University – Vice Chair At-Large  

The Steering Committee will help guide the development of the Alternative Credentials Network, and will craft the Network’s Leadership Team slate for the 2022-2023 term. Slated individuals will serve in their respective leadership team roles from April 2022 through March 2023. 

Learn more and join the Alternative Credentials Network here. Get involved with UPCEA as a volunteer by completing this form


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UPCEA is the association for online and professional continuing education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. The association supports its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA builds greater awareness of the vital link between adult learners and public policy issues. Visit www.upcea.edu

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