Education Solutions

Combining competency-based practices with the flexibility of online delivery format and an individualized approach that caters training to the unique needs of both individuals and business partners. We provide a comprehensive suite of professional development and training services.

Our Goal

At the Higher Learning Institute, we provide a new kind of educational training experience that effectively meets the needs of working professionals and industry partners.

Our Mission

Patricia Neely, EdD
VP of Marketing
Principal Consultant

Dr. Patricia Neely has an Ed.D. in Higher Education from the University of Virginia, an MBA from Averett University and a BS degree from Radford University.  Dr. Neely has a rich background in higher education administration including curriculum design and development, program management and faculty supervision roles.  Over the past ten years, she has either led or participated in the development of nine competency-based degree programs.  Her work experience includes leadership roles at Western Governors University, Old Dominion University, and Kaplan University. She is currently a higher education consultant specializing in competency-based education and resides in southwestern Virginia with her family.

Jan Tucker, PhD
VP of Operations
Principal Consultant

Jan Tucker has a PhD in Business Management from Northcentral University, an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology and a BA degree in Psychology from Auburn University. Dr. Tucker has over 20 years experience in higher education in the areas of instruction and curriculum development, over half of which have been in distance education. She has developed undergraduate and graduate courses in Management, HR, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, Finance, Research and Design and similar disciplines. In addition, she spent over 10 years as a Operations Management consultant for several Fortune 500 companies. Her research interests include the integration of technology in education, disruptive innovation in higher education and change management processes. She is currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her family.

Trevor Belcher, PhD
Chairman, Board of Directors 

Dr. Trevor Belcher is an Assistant Professor in Ashford’s College of Health, Human Services, and Science, where he teaches undergraduate psychology courses such as Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, and the Capstone course. He holds his PhD and MS in Psychology from Capella University and a BS with a double major in Ministry and Theology from Mid-America Christian University. Over most of the past two decades, his educational and practical experience has allowed him the opportunity to serve in various capacities such as pastoral ministry (ten years), counseling, teaching, and administration. Dr. Belcher was born in Warren, MI, reared in Kentucky, and currently lives in Virginia. He has been married for over two decades and has one son. In his spare time he enjoys movies, spending time with his family, and trying to learn guitar.

Angela Au, DBA
Board Member

Dr. Angela Au has extensive experience in competency-based education, online learning, instructional design, and small business marketing. Since 2000, she has worked for different higher education institutes, including community colleges, not-for-profit, and for-profit universities. Angela helped many small business owners with their marketing strategies as a marketing consultant. Angela has Doctor of Business Administration degree in social media marketing. She received a Master Certificate in Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University, and a BA degree in Communication Studies from Seattle University. Angela lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband and her pets.

Hire Us

The consultants at Higher Learning Institute has decades of leadership experience in higher education and business management. Our research, curriculum development, and delivery teams have extensive expertise in program design and development, competency-based education initiatives, business and industry training,  professional and academic research and publication.  

Executive Leadership

Our mission is to support and disseminate research in higher education by providing training and best practices in curriculum development, instructional design, and online teaching for educators and industry trainers.

About Us


Learning Institute