Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE)

Celebrating Non-Traditional Students for Over 20 Years!

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ANTSHE Academic Advisory Board

About the Board

ANTSHE’s Academic Advisory Board exists to support academic program accountability and provides guidance and feedback while serving as partners in research and community collaborations. The Academic Advisory Board serves a growing academic presence within the ANTSHE community and helps to shape academic forums at the annual ANTSHE conference. The Academic Advisory Board provides guidance in the development of academic programs focusing on nontraditional students, educational leadership programs, establishing performance standards, evaluating program content, address community/student needs, administrator-faculty engagement, provide assistance, direction, and recommendations.  

Academic Advisory Board Members are a diverse group of talented academic professionals yielding both industry and academic experience. Members serving on the Academic Advisory Board are highly regarded in their fields and have been recognized for their contributions and accomplishments based on their dedication and academic support for nontraditional students and other academic professionals.


  • Advice from Accomplished Experts in various fields of academia
  • Support for Faculty/Administrators
  • Non-binding quarterly/semi-annual advice for ANTSHE
  • Strategic direction
  • Diverse range of skills and expertise
  • Creates a culture of accepting outside ideas
  • Provide access to talent (adding value) at no cost


Academic Advisory Board Members are required to attend ANTSHE’s Annual Conference and will participate in a moderator controlled academic forum leading discussions on various topics pertaining to education and nontraditional students and will be available to answer questions based on their area of expertise.


Meet our Academic Advisory Board at the Annual ANTSHE Conference! Each member of the Academic Advisory Board will participate in an academic open forum to address the current issues and challenges facing nontraditional students and discuss academic adult learning programs that are focused on meeting the needs of the nontraditional student.



Mary Beth Lakin, is the Director of College and University Partnerships (CUP) in the Center for Education Attainment and Innovation at the American Council on Education (ACE).  CUP capitalizes on statewide, regional, and national initiatives to raise awareness, acceptance and application of credit for prior learning and boost postsecondary credential completion rates, assisting higher education institutions and systems in developing integrated programs and services that support and validate a diverse range of learning experiences. 

With 10 years at ACE, Lakin has concentrated on expanding educational pathways for adult learners, including military service members and veterans. Currently Lakin is the Center’s lead for several initiatives focusing on the mapping of ACE credit recommendations and other credit for prior learning experiences to postsecondary credentials.  Her research projects related to adult learning and credit for prior learning include Maps to Credentials: Creating an Integrated Prior Learning Assessment Model to Accelerate Postsecondary Attainment and Mapping New Directions: Older Adults and Higher Education.

Lakin has close to three decades of experience as a faculty member, academic advisor, and program administrator. In her previous position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, she developed and directed the University’s Experiential Learning program and an interdisciplinary degree program geared to adult learners offered in a blended format. Her published articles and presentations center on credit for prior learning, adult learning, and lifelong learning trends.

Contact Mary Beth Lakin: 


Ellen Miller, Ed.D., is a higher education administrator with over three decades of experience as academic advisor, counseling students regarding academics, programs, career options, career/educational plan development, as well as personal issues that may have an impact on their academic performance.

At the collegiate level, she is an innovative program developer and administrator with history of defining, organizing, implementing, and overseeing academic and service programs to address unmet student needs and expand educational opportunities for nontraditional and adult learners.

Dr. Miller holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy studies from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Her research focuses on improving services and supports for nontraditional students to increase student retention and persistence. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she put herself through college by working during the day, taking classes in the evening, and raising a family.

Contact Dr. Miller: 



Michael H. Parsons, Ed.D. is an adjunct professor, Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University. He is a graduate of Muskegon Community College, MI. He holds a Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate from Western Michigan University. He began his community college teaching career at Oakland Community College in suburban Detroit in 1965. He has taught at Western Michigan U., Kalamazoo Valley Community College, MI and Southwestern Michigan (Community) College.

Parsons joined the staff of HCC as Associate Dean and Professor of Social Science in 1972. He served as Dean of Instruction for 21 years, returning to the faculty in 2000. During his time at HCC, Parsons completed post-doctoral training at the University of Texas, Carnegie-Mellon and Harvard University. Further, he has been an adjunct faculty member at Hood College, MD, Frostburg State University and the University of Baltimore.

Parsons has areas of interest in group development, political sociology, and international cultural development. He is a member of the MD Association of Adult, Continuing and Community Education, the (CC) National Council on Research and Planning and the Eastern Community College Social Science Association. He has published two monographs, edited two editions of New Directions for community colleges and authored articles in four educational journals.

In 2009, Parsons was invited and selected to participate in the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University on The Three Cultures: Humanities-Literature, Religion and Science. The title of his paper and presentation was Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Cultural Integration.

Contact Dr. Parsons:


Sandra E. Seay, Ed.D. is an associate professor of educational leadership at East Carolina University. Her research interests include first-generation students, graduate students, and women in higher education administration. She has worked in the student affairs area as a director of counseling services and orientation programming. On the academic side, she has been a dean, assistant dean, director of advising services and a director of retention services. 

During her long academic career, she has been employed at two community colleges and two universities. She delights in knowing that a number of her students are now serving as senior administrators at a number of academic institutions.

Contact Dr. Seay:



R. Lee Viar IV, Ph.D.  is an innovative teacher and published author. His book, "The Nontraditional Learner's Guide to Success" has been utilized in several adult learning programs throughout the United States. He has contributed to other academic journals and publications. He has a deep passion and devotion to education and considers himself a lifelong learner. He has been a college professor for over 16 years both online and on campus. In addition, he has over 20 years of professional marketing and business experience in the areas of banking and marketing management. When Dr. Viar is not in the classroom or volunteering for ANTSHE and a Trustee on the Board of ECCSSA, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Lori and their six children. 

He earned his doctorate in Post-Secondary Adult Education and Training in 2007, and has completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, MIT, the University of Oklahoma and has completed over 30 credit hrs of coursework towards a DBA in Organizational Management. He also holds an MBA from Frostburg State University.

Contact Dr. Viar:

Michael Dillon, Ed.D.,  is a teacher and scholar optimizing adult learning and development for personal and organizational improvement. He has a robust background in student services, academic counseling, financial aid, and admissions positions in higher education, and personal finance positions at financial corporations. Dr. Dillon’s talent is to help people succeed educationally and organizationally through promotion of self-awareness of strengths, and development of leadership attributes. He is proficient in adult learning, leadership development, and facilitating collaborative change through action research principles. Throughout his various positions, his interest is discovering how people learn and thrive in organizational settings, and how this leads to improved personal and organizational outcomes. Some of his leadership achievements include heading an internal employee development committee at DeVry University, planning and accomplishing the opening of two locations of his church nationally, and managing a three year community leadership action research project that entailed the collaborative implementation of organizational interventions for a non-profit client. These interventions were designed through action research methodology which entailed gathering and analyzing qualitative data primarily through interviews. Recently, Dr. Dillon achieved, along with additional student support colleague, a systematic student outreach plan for at-risk and unregistered students. This resulted in an improvement to retention of 4.4% for undergraduates and 9.94% for graduates from 2013 to 2014, and a NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 11 bps higher than system in January 2014. He is also the founder of Adult Learning Theory and Practice LinkedIn group.

Contact Dr. Dillion:

or Twitter: @MichaelD_Dillon


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 Celebrating over 20 Years of Non-Traditional Student Support & Success!


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