Board Of Directors

Michele Ernst

2019 – 2020 Board of Directors Chair

(Term of Office Concludes 2021)

An education professional with over 20 years of experience in higher education serving adult students in an online, residential and blended environment, Dr. Ernst has a successful history of managing all functional areas of a college, with specific emphasis in academic affairs, including curriculum development, regulatory affairs and accreditation, student retention, training, and faculty/staff development. Dr. Ernst has devoted her career to helping students reach their educational goals. Dr. Ernst is currently the Chief Academic and Compliance Officer at SAE USA.



Aaron Edwards

2019 -2020 Board of Director Vice Chair & Treasurer

(Term of Office Concludes 2021)

Aaron Edwards is the Founder of Edwards Strategies, a higher education company focused on enrollment solutions. Aaron has over 15 years of experience developing high-impact enrollment strategies in marketing, admissions and research. Aaron has managed multiple aspects of education marketing and student life cycle innovation. His drive and focus for developing and implementing solutions has positioned his clients for long-term, sustainable success.  During his career he has served on boards, committees and counsels dedicated to enhancing the value and direction of higher education.


Jeanne Hermann

(Term of Office Concludes 2020)

Jeanne Herrmann is the chief executive officer for the Broadview Education Consortium, which includes, Broadview University, the Institute of Production and Recording and the Minnesota School of Cosmetology. In her role, she serves as the strategic leader in advancing career education to the residential and online communities served by this multi-campus organization.  She also continues to provide oversight of all areas of operations and works to improve communication, consistencies in process, outcomes and results, while continually striving to enhance the overall student experience. Ms. Herrmann has worked in the career college sector since 1991. She served as board member, chair-elect and Chair of the Board for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) from 2009-2015.  She is the past chair of the board for the Minnesota Career College Association (MCCA).  She has been active as an ACICS evaluator since 1998 as well as having served on the Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) State Affairs Coordinating Council, Federal Legislative and Regulatory committees and teaches at the annual Leadership Institute. She has presented nationally on many issues central to the career college sector as well as testified in front of Congress.  She lends her sector knowledge and expertise as a member of the advisory board for the Career Education Review publication. Ms. Herrmann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University and a Master’s in Business Administration conferred through Minnesota School of Business.


Tony Palmieri

(Term of Office Concludes 2022)

Tony Palmieri is owner and CEO of Valley College, a 4-location career college in West Virginia and Ohio that celebrates its 32nd anniversary in 2019. Mr. Palmieri purchased Valley College in August 2011. Since then he has expanded and modernized the college with new facilities and programs supported by passionate, caring staff to best serve students and employers in each of its markets.  Prior to acquiring Valley College, Mr. Palmieri was Director of Sales for Campus Management Corporation, was co-founder of a college that was later sold and spent 16 of his first years in industry in education technology sales. Mr. Palmieri holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in New York.



Alan Hensley

(Term of Office Concludes 2022)

Alan Hensley is CourseKey’s Executive Vice President, Enterprise Sales.  Working with and within for-profit career colleges for over 30 years as an educational publisher executive, college administrator, and school owner, Alan specializes in partnering with client schools to find solutions for better student outcomes, college profitability, and operational excellence.  Alan lives in Houston but spends much of his time on the road enjoying his interactions with colleagues in the industry.


Jeremiah Scarbrough

(Term of Office Concludes 2023)

Jeremiah has served as Regional Director of Operations for the Aviation Institute of Maintenance for the past six years. Overall, Jeremiah has fifteen years of experience working in the proprietary school industry with thirteen of those years being in a leadership position. Previously, he has worked as the Director of Global Operations for Strayer University, Director of High School Admissions at Everest Institute, and Director of Operations with Kaplan University. Jeremiah also supports the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and its mission by serving as a Team Leader for accreditation visits. He is well versed in all areas of student operations, with excellent management, customer service, project management, sales, and strategic implementation skills. Jeremiah holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Florida.


Aaron Lacey

(Term of Office Concludes 2023)

Aaron Lacey is the leader of Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education practice, host of the law firm’s popular Higher Education Webinar Series, and editorial director of REGucation, the firm’s higher education law and policy blog.  An experienced attorney with time served both as outside and in-house counsel, Aaron’s practice is dedicated entirely to assisting postsecondary institutions to navigate complex legal and regulatory matters.  He has specialized, substantive expertise in the array of federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards that govern postsecondary institutions, and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics relating to higher education policy and regulation.  In October 2017, Aaron was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to serve as one of 17 primary negotiators charged with overhauling the Department’s complex and controversial “borrower defense” rule. The Department designated Aaron to represent and negotiate on behalf of general counsels, attorneys, and compliance officers at postsecondary institutions nationwide.  He served in this capacity through March 2018, when the negotiations concluded.  Aaron is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and of the American Bar Association.

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