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Part of Western Governors University

September 8, 2022

Employee Spotlight - Kacey Thorne

Kacey Thorne headshot

WGU has helped change the lives of thousands of students since our inception and with that success we continue to grow every year in new and exciting ways to ensure that our students are learning the right skills needed for the jobs of today and the future.

Recently our Director of Skills Architecture, Kacey Thorne, was named by WomenWeAdmire.com as one of their Top 50 Women Leaders of Utah for 2022, and for good reason! Kacey has been vital to WGU’s growth and student success since she began 10 years ago. We talked a little with Kacey about her accomplishment and her role at WGU.

What is the Top 50 Women leaders of Utah?

KT: “The Women We Admire is a publication that recognizes women leaders across many different industries. I was honored to have been nominated and selected as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders in Utah for 2022.”

How long have you been at WGU? What exactly does a Director of Skills Architecture do? Is this something specific to HigherEd?

KT: “I have been with WGU for 10 years. I began my career with WGU as an assessment developer and after several years of learning the ins and outs of assessment, served as Assessment Director for four years. Now, I have been the Director of Skills Architecture for the past four years. This role is fairly unique to WGU though many organizations from education to the tech industry are putting increased value on skill related roles to help skill, upskill, and reskill our workforce. In this role, my team and I are responsible for skill research, workforce intelligence, and ensuring we have up-to-date skills data that helps inform our programs and products at WGU.”

How did you get started in your field?

KT: “I got started in my current role because of my alignment with WGU’s mission. I believe that we are an institution that can and will continue to innovate to ensure that our students have access to pathways to opportunity and that they actualize meaningful return on their educational investment. One way to do that is to ensure they have the high-demand skills that are important to the workforce.” 

How does your work impact the students at WGU?

KT: “My work impacts students at WGU by ensuring we have programs that prepare them for the careers and opportunities that they are interested in. It also impacts students by helping them understand the skills that they have and have demonstrated during their learning.”

What should others know if they want to follow along similar career paths to yours?

KT: “The best advice I have to give to anyone who is interested in pursuing a similar career path is to focus on your enduring skills. Enduring skills are those critical skills like teamwork, leadership, collaboration, and communication. In the end, skills are about people. Focus on the ones that come easy to you and double down on the ones that are hard for you. It’s our enduring skills that accelerate movement towards our career goals.”

Reach out to Kacey on her LinkedIn for more information about her work and department: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kacey-thorne

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Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Which college fits you?

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