Keypath Education is instilling a blog series to get to know the incredible people we have working here. We are kicking it off with Cindy Wheatley, SVP of Research. Cindy, who has a Doctor of Philosophy in British Literature, has more than 25 years of experience in higher education with 14 years in online learning. She works from Orlando, Florida, with our Academic Program Management team, providing vital market data and analytics to help identify and target partner potential and connect the right students to the right institutions.
What excites you about working for Keypath Education?
I love Keypath’s spirit of innovation! I’ve always enjoyed collaborating with really smart people to build and grow. I’m looking forward to working alongside the smart, creative team at Keypath Education to build the APM business, as well as creating long-term value for our legacy clients.
Where do you see your specialty going in the next five years?
Higher education is facing some significant challenges and changes in the next five years. Colleges and universities need to become more market-driven and make critical data-driven decisions even to survive. Big data will transform higher education. Keypath Education will be an important strategic partner to help institutions future-proof their programs and services.
How can you use your skills to change the student experience for the better?
Every touch point in the student lifecycle is an important part of the student experience. I learned this during my time working for the Walt Disney Company. At Disney, everything is viewed as part of the guest experience — even parking! If we look at education that way, then everything the prospective student or student sees, hears or touches is part of the learning experience. I can help faculty and staff to better understand the unique needs of the online learner and help them to design a better student experience at every touch point from first contact to graduation.
What is your favorite personal achievement?
This is a difficult question because I have achieved a lot of my personal goals. My favorite achievement is probably running 3 marathons. I started running seriously when I was 35 and I set a goal to run a marathon before I could even run 3 miles! I started with a half marathon and then ran a full marathon the following year. I learned so much about self-discipline and perseverance from that experience. People used to ask me if it was difficult to run 26.2 miles. I would tell them that the race was the easy part; it was the 500 miles I had to run training for the marathon that were difficult!