AUSTIN, TEX. (MARCH 20, 2016) — Civitas Learning, a pioneer in the application of data analytics for higher education, announced today the addition of two longtime advocates for higher education transformation. The Austin-based education technology firm works with colleges and universities to apply data science and design thinking to shine a light on the complex pathways students take through higher education and improve outcomes.
Dr. Gerardo de los Santos, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the League for Innovation in the Community College, will join the company as a Senior Fellow, advising institutions and higher education organizations looking to use data analytics to innovate and improve student success. A deeply respected voice in the community college movement, de los Santos spent nearly 17 years with the League, including 10 as president. He has served on numerous boards, ranging from the Education Testing Service Community College Advisory Board to the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Moreover, he has spoken at hundreds of colleges and conferences nationally and internationally and authored or co-authored more than 45 publications on subjects including effective policy and practice, leadership development, technology and STEM advancements, and alternative funding models for community colleges.
Also joining Civitas Learning as Vice President for Consulting is Dr. Nicole M. Melander. Many in higher education will know her from her role as Chief Technology Officer with the innovative change network, Achieving the Dream, and also as a full-time faculty member with American University. Melander comes to Civitas Learning from her most recent position, Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy and Chief Customer Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she drove innovation through a ‘digital first’ strategy that improved customer experience and helped bring the company’s product vision into digital maturity. She has held a variety of positions in the education technology industry, including Senior Global Director for Higher Education Strategy and Programs at Microsoft Corporation and Vice President for Oracle Corporation’s ThinkQuest and Think.com initiatives.
Dr. Melander will report to Vice President of Partner Services Nikhil Kumar, the former head of client services for the Americas at Google, who recently joined Civitas Learning to lead implementation services and ongoing partner management.
“Welcoming Gerardo and Nicole to the Civitas Learning team is an exciting moment for our community,” said Dr. Mark D. Milliron, co-founder and Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning. “Both Gerardo and Nicole have championed analytics and helped nurture the innovation-for-student-success agenda in higher education. They bring a wealth of talent and expertise in helping institutions to manage change and utilize data analytics to shape institutional strategy.”