Wheatley Research and Consulting helps higher education institutions and service providers thrive in the highly competitive world of online education. We provide meaningful research and actionable strategic recommendations that inform decision-making, planning, and implementation for:
  • online program selection and development
  • accreditation approvals
  • regulatory compliance
  • financial planning
  • student recruitment and retention
  • institutional process and infrastructure implementation
  • strategic visioning

Cindy Wheatley, Ph.D., Principal Consultant

For 23 years I have been a leader in online higher education, helping scores of institutions in the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK to select, develop, and launch scalable online degree programs. I have built online programs from inside and outside institutions as an Associate Dean for Online Learning, a senior leader in two large online program management companies, and a consultant for colleges and universities. I am an expert in evaluating the potential of programs in the online market, modeling online programs for scalability, and implementing efficient and effective student services. As an academic who understands the business of online higher education, I am a trusted partner for institutions desiring to grow sustainable online programs that deliver high-quality education.

How I Can Help You

Market Strategy

I provide meaningful, actionable market research that elucidates degree demand, occupational demand, and competitive factors that will inform program selection, development, and enrollment strategies. I can provide market insights for a single program or conduct a comprehensive review of your entire program portfolio.

Academic Strategy

I assist institutions to model and develop new degree or non-degree programs, or expand existing programs, that will meet the needs of adult learners, the academic standards of the program, and the growth goals of the institution. I can collaborate with faculty and administration to:

  • create a scalable online delivery mode
  • plan for future faculty staffing needs
  • develop accreditation proposals for new programs or substantive changes to existing programs
  • understand the competitive landscape and the desires of prospective students
  • understand regulatory compliance requirements
  • create the optimum student learning experience
  • prepare faculty to develop and teach online courses

Operational Strategy

I can help institutions develop a roadmap for delivering a seamless student experience. Using a set of industry standards and best practices, I will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your current processes, policies, and systems for attracting, admitting, and supporting online students. I will deliver a detailed gap analysis with strategic recommendations for delivering efficient and effective student support.

How I Work

I take pride in delivering customized research and consulting services that provide meaningful, actionable data that you translate into workable strategic and operational objectives. My methodology is rooted in:

  • Understanding the goals, mission, and culture of the institution
  • Taking a 360° approach to evaluating the entire online education enterprise
  • Employing a change management approach to help leaders get buy in from key stakeholders
  • Using trusted data sources, both publicly available and proprietary
  • Benchmarking against field-tested industry best practices
  • Interviewing key institutional stakeholders to understand the on-the-ground realities and requirements of operational units and academic departments
  • Analyzing institutional data to identify historical trends and areas of opportunity

My Clients’ Results

My clients tell us that they appreciate and trust my deep understanding of the higher education culture and business model. Additional benefits of my consulting services include:

  • Reduced risk and increased predictability in new program development
  • Accelerated timeline for due diligence, decision making, and implementation
  • Greater clarity in decision-making and resource planning
  • Greater faculty and administration alignment
  • Strategic alignment between planning and implementation