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School of Education Learning Community Thought Leadership

Explore trends in the education professions in these interviews with thought leaders and difference makers on the forefront of change.

Insights and Interviews with the School of Education Leadership

Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson

About Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, Senior Vice President of Western Governors University (WGU) and Executive Dean of the School of Education

Stacey has a long history of championing and supporting the work of WGU with her platform and vision of changing trajectories for students and her belief that education is the key to positive change.

As a pioneer in competency-based education, Stacey has invested more than 24 years with WGU and currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the School of Education. Read her bio here

She currently leads the largest non-profit School of Education in the country and is frequently quoted in the media on innovations in higher education. 

Some of her recent publications and interviews follow below...


White Paper: Using Mission, Metrics, and Mindset to Build a Community of Care

A Blueprint for Colleges and Universities to Serve All Students

With more than 24 years of envisioning, creating, and implementing academic and student support services that optimize student progress, retention, and success, Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson is often asked about the wrap-around services for students in the WGU Community of Care.

She presented on this topic in 2022 and previously authored a three-part series explaining the various services available to students from admission through graduation.

In this whitepaper, she offers up a 7-step guide for how any education organization can approach creating and scaling a community of care to support their students, wherever those students are in their academic journey.

Steps include: Aligning with your Mission and Vision, Aligning on your North Star, Mapping the Student Journey, Defining your Gaps, Defining your Success Metrics and Drivers, Creating a Care Team, and the Ultimate Goal. 

Webinar: Leading Toward Healthy Learning

webinar speakers

In this webinar from the National University Speaker Series, School of Education SVP Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson joins colleagues in a discussion about healthy learning environments. WGU, National University, and other schools are taking an intentional approach to addressing what needs to be done to ensure all students have a chance to thrive and succeed, in school and in life.

Access the webinar on demand here.

Webinar Speakers:

  • Host: Dr. Mark D. Milliron, President and CEO, National University, with
  • Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, SVP, Executive Dean, WGU School of Education
  • Ms. Domonique Hensler, Sr. Director, Care Redesign Planning and Mental Health Integration, Rady Children’s Hospital

Mission Possible: 3 Keys to K-20 Cybersecurity

person touching digital screen with image of lock

As more students, teachers, and administrators learn and work remotely, the threat of cyberattacks across K-20 increases.

In this article from edCircuit, Stacey Ludwig Johnson is joined by WGU colleague Paul Bingham, VP and Dean of the WGU College of Information Technology to share three critical strategies for implementing data management literacy and cybersecurity. Read Article in edCircuit Here.

14 Technology Predictions for Higher Education in 2023

2023 and lightbulb with words campus technology

In this trending article from Campus Technology, various higher education leaders explore ways technologies and practices including predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, digital transformation and more will impact higher education.

WGU SVP Stacey Ludwig Johnson is quoted speaking about the School of Education’s Virtual Study Hall. Read the article here.

Education's Dynamic Duo: High Standards, High Support

student and teacher online talking

In this piece, Dr. Ludwig Johnson discusses the importance of striking and maintaining a balance with high standards, and high support as leaders across the education landscape take on new challenges and work to innovate at scale.

Her advice includes Removing Barriers, Leading Well, and Listening Effectively. Read the article here.

Virtual Study Hall: Visualizing a New Student Support Model

learning online

As a new regular contributor to edCircuit, Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson shares insights into the School of Education’s recent work to create a virtual study hall giving students a place to study, learn, and feel connected.

The effort is part of a vast Community of Care within WGU to support students at each step of their unique journey. Read the article here.

School of Education Experts Center

Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson

The School of Education provides thought leadership and insights to many across the education landscape.

In addition to our Senior Vice President, Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson, we also offer up the expertise and viewpoints of many subject matter experts from within the School of Education. 

These experts are available to respond to media inquiries and speak at national conferences. To learn more, link below. 



compilation headshots of SOE Experts and Thought Leader Bench

Videos and Webinars with Education Leaders

WGU Teachers College: 20 Years from Idea to Impact

This fascinating panel discussion recalls the journey from past to present and into the future in WGU’s mission to transform lives through education. Celebrating 20 years of the Teachers College as part of the 2021 SXSWEdu activities, this group takes viewers back to a gathering of visionary governors looking to introduce the country to competency-based education two decades ago, all the way to today where explorations into stacking credentials are again reinventing education. 

The conversation is lively and peppered with insights and memories of those who took part in the journey, including alumni, education luminaries and governmental leaders. Enjoy the stories shared by these education difference-makers who disrupted a system to take us to new levels of achievement and access.


  • Rahim Rajan, Deputy Director Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart 
  • Dr. Sally Johnstone, President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)
  • Dr. Marni Baker Stein, former Provost and Chief Academic Officer, WGU

Host: Dr. Mark Milliron, former SVP WGU, and Executive Dean, WGU Teachers College 

Meeting this Moment by Pushing Educational Boundaries

In the world of education, this last year of the pandemic and hard social-justice work has pushed us to try new things, rethink and reexamine long-held practices and beliefs, and begin to visualize a different kind of road ahead. This presentation reflects on this tumultuous time and a projection of the possibilities we now can champion around new learning models, teaching strategies, and leadership principles for engaging and readying students for an increasingly dynamic time in learning, earning, personal growth, and civic engagement.


  • Stacy Caldwell, CEO Mastery Transcript Consortium
  • Rahim Rajan, Deputy Director Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tom Vander Ark, CEO, Getting Smart 

Host: Dr. Mark Milliron, former SVP WGU, and Executive Dean, WGU Teachers College 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Today's Classroom

This compelling and timely conversation was recorded as a Facebook live webinar. The discussion centers around complex subjects many teachers are trying to address successfully across the DEI spectrum. Viewers can experience many learnings from this recording. Focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classrooms, participants share personal stories of challenge and triumph and provide observations for further discussion and reflection. Watch and learn more about how to tackle these topics in your classrooms. 



  • Jason Thompson, Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, WGU 
  • Dr. Mamie Pack, Principal Healthy Learning, WGU Teachers College 
  • Dr. Mark Milliron, former SVP WGU, and Executive Dean, WGU Teachers College 

Host: Dr. Aaron Popham, Dean and Academic Vice President, WGU Teachers College 

Culture Change: How to Leverage the Past to Create the Future of Education

Founded in 1873 as one of two HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) that enroll only women, Bennett College is steeped in tradition. From being the first Black college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to the activism and strategy employed during the civil rights movement, the women (Bennett Belles) of Bennett College have strong cultural beliefs.

When Dr. Suzanne Walsh was named president in June of 2019, one of her charges was to implement some dramatic change. In this presentation, Dr. Walsh shares her approach and how she relied on the past to bring people to the vision of a new future. She discusses important strategies and concepts including the increasingly popular conversation around ‘anti-fragility’ and how becoming ‘unbreakable’ and stronger through challenges is part of a resilient path forward. 

Guest: Dr. Suzanne Walsh, President, Bennett College

Host: Dr. Mark Milliron, former SVP WGU, and Executive Dean, WGU Teachers College

WGU News & Views

Book Shelf

The Teachers College community regularly discusses books of interest to the education professions. We'll post some highly recommended reads here for your consideration. 

book cover think again

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, by Adam Grant.

book cover the extended mind

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain, by Annie M. Paul.

Rising Thought Leaders: Alumni Podcasts

alumni podcast logo

Enjoy these podcasts from the WGU Alumni Association with our Teachers College graduates. 

Graduate Maureen Stover – episode 16

Maureen was recently named North Carolina Teacher of the Year, and was one of four finalists nationally for U.S. teacher of the year. Listen to her share how drawing upon the WGU model helps her in her classroom today.

Graduate Jillian Hernandez - episode 23

Fifth-grade teacher and Arizona Teacher of the Year finalist, Jillian reflects on her interesting pathway to becoming a classroom teacher. 

Graduate Winnie Obilor – episode 29

Winnie believes no matter where you live, education has a transformative power. Winnie talks about her capstone project designed to help underprivileged women in her home country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Graduate Marah Jordan – episode 36

Marah shares her story as a community college transfer student, and her excitement at being a first-year teacher. Marah is currently working on her master’s degree in English Language Learning.