Dr. Marie A. Cini is a strategic leader who creates new ways to serve adult learners, with particular emphasis on supporting the intersections between learning and work throughout individuals’ lives. With an academic career spanning more than 25 years and extensive experience as a C-level academic administrator in universities that predominantly serve adults, Dr. Cini is the president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). In addition, she serves on the Board of Trustees at Marygrove College and the Board of Directors at Bryant & Stratton College.
In recognition of her decades of work implementing strategies and improving systems to better support adults, Dr. Cini was inducted into the International Adult Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2016. In recent years, she served as president of the board for the Online Learning Consortium and, through a contract with IBM and the U.S. Department of Defense, assisted with the update of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges.
At CAEL, Dr. Cini is committed to helping colleges, universities, employers and workforce agencies find points of collaboration and connection. She believes that a robust 21st-century economy depends on the lifelong ability of adults to learn new skills that connect them to evolving job opportunities. At the same time, workforce development entities and employers stand to benefit greatly when they provide workers with opportunities to upskill and advance toward openings in high-skill occupations. Dr. Cini’s work advocates a shift in perspective that places adult learners directly in the center of these connections.
Before joining CAEL in 2018, Dr. Cini served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the nation’s largest online public institution. There, she led major transformative initiatives to improve student outcomes, including the development of a competency-based curriculum in the Undergraduate School, the creation of the Center for Innovation in Learning and Student Success, and the shift away from publisher textbooks to entirely open educational resources. At UMUC, she also served as a senior academic innovation fellow, during which time she worked on developing new academic models for the future through organizational change leadership and academic innovation.
Dr. Cini earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a master’s degree in counselor education from the Pennsylvania State University. She has also administered programs for adults at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, held various titles at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey, and served as associate vice president for academic affairs and interim dean of the School of Management at City University of Seattle in Washington.