AUSTIN, TX (May 11, 2018) — Student success leader Civitas Learning today announced the addition of a new senior leader to support the company’s continued growth and development of its leadership team. April Downing, a seasoned operational executive with more than 20 years of experience growing technology businesses, is joining Civitas Learning to become its first-ever Chief Operations Officer.
Thanks to the hard work of our team and our customers, Civitas Learning now reaches more than 8 million students. As we pursue our mission to help a million more students graduate each year, ongoing investment in our employees and our customers will be critical to scaling our impact,” said Charles Thornburgh, Founder and CEO of Civitas Learning. “April is an immensely talented operator with a track record of building strong, successful teams at high-growth technology companies that achieve big outcomes. We’re incredibly excited to add her talent and passion to Civitas Learning.”
Downing, who previously worked with Civitas Learning during the raise of its Series B, has spent her career helping companies accelerate and manage growth, while ensuring positive outcomes for both customers and employees. As CFO of Austin-based WP Engine, she was instrumental in leading the company’s rapid growth – helping scale their revenue to more than $100 million in less than five years – while building an open, communicative company culture that empowered WP Engine’s team to achieve common goals. Throughout her career, she has helped companies raise nearly half a billion dollars in funding, completed over 20 M&A transactions, successfully taken a company public, and opened 15 international subsidiaries.
“I’m excited to join a company that brings together innovative technology and a mission-driven team in service of others. Civitas is helping colleges and universities deliver on the promise of a college degree for students, and, in doing so, has established itself as the leading student success company that drives improved student outcomes,” said Downing. “Critical to any company’s success and growth is its people. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to grow dynamic teams that continue to advance the Civitas mission and deliver unmatched success in the industry.”
Civitas Learning helps colleges and universities improve graduation outcomes by delivering machine learning-informed applications across the student life cycle to enhance decision making, personalize support, scale meaningful action, and measure impact. The company now serves over 350 institutions, reaching 40 percent of U.S. higher education. In the past year alone, nearly two million students used Civitas Learning apps to create and optimize course schedules aligned to degree requirements. Likewise, college and university partners have used the platform to measure the impact of more than 560 unique student success initiatives.