AT THE CORE OF EVERY BUSINESS ARE PEOPLE. HERE ARE SOME OF OURS.
At KNEXT, we are a team of experienced educators and professionals committed to promoting, growing and furthering adult education. For us, our work is less of a job and more of a calling – helping students across the country earn the credit they deserve and build the career and life they want.
KNEXT is a subsidiary of Kaplan, Inc., and is managed as a stand-alone business led by the following individuals.
Vice President, Brian Ouellette
Brian has nearly 20 years of experience building and managing educational ventures. His past experience includes start-up initiatives, business turnarounds, school mergers, and roll-ups of academic programs and services. The core of Brian's strengths is his ability to assemble, develop and lead high-performance teams focused on building long-term success for students and the organization.
Prior to joining KNEXT four years ago, Brian served as Chief Operating Officer of the Human Services Coalition of Miami, where he managed the day-to-day operations and administration of a multi-agency nonprofit group.
Brian's prior experience in higher education administration includes several positions with Nova Southeastern University (NSU) located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There he served as Director of Technology, Director of Operations, and lastly as Chief Operating Officer. While at NSU, Brian led several key business initiatives, including the successful merger of two independent business schools, the consolidation and improvement in operating efficiency of previously independent admissions processes of 16 separate colleges and schools, and the start-up of many new product and service offerings.
Brian earned an MBA with specialization in Management Information Systems and a B.S. in Legal Studies from Nova Southeastern University.
Assessment Director and Lead Academic Officer, Victoria M. Ferrara, Ph.D.
Victoria M. Ferrara, Ph.D., is an assessment professional with experience in educational measurement from K-12 through adult learning. She plays a vital role in developing and implementing new products and services for adult learners to afford them the opportunity to earn college credit in the areas where they can prove satisfactory knowledge. Dr. Ferrara has an array of experience in educational assessment and higher education.
Prior to joining the KNEXT team almost four years ago, Dr. Ferrara previously held a position at the New York State Education Department as the Program Manager for a portfolio assessment administered to students with severe cognitive disabilities. At the Department, she was instrumental in the revision and maintenance of this assessment, as well as training teachers statewide to administer the assessment and evaluate student performance.
Dr. Ferrara also spent nearly seven years at Excelsior College, where she managed the development and maintenance of a battery of standardized examinations, as well as provided psychometric assistance for her colleagues in the College's Assessment Unit. She has a wealth of experience with hiring, supervising and managing the work of college faculty involved in the assessment process. Dr. Ferrara was also essential to the planning, development and implementation of Excelsior's portfolio assessment program. She developed the prior learning assessment courses and the base metrics for the program. She was also critical in training College staff on issues relating to prior learning assessment and portfolio development. While employed by Excelsior College, Dr. Ferrara earned a Certification as a Prior Learning Assessor and a Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).
Having served as a member of various academic review committees and as an instructor for many years, Dr. Ferrara has taught upper- and lower-level courses in psychology in a variety of course formats for Excelsior College, The Sage Colleges, Kaplan University Online and the College of Saint Rose. In addition to her role as the Director of Assessment at KNEXT, Dr. Ferrara currently teaches for Excelsior College.
Dr. Ferrara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Eastern University, a Master of Science in Educational Psychology and Statistics from the University at Albany - State University of New York and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology from Capella University.
Business Development Director, Susan Huggins
Susan has extensive experience in higher education administration and the management of nontraditional learning strategies for adults. In her 15 years of experience, she has worked with employers and local workforce development boards to develop and implement customized training leading to certificate and degree programs. Susan has experience in serving the civilian, government and military populations.
She recently held a position with the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, D.C. as an Associate Director in the Center for Lifelong Learning where she utilized her higher education experience to connect adult learners with corporate training to higher education programs through the ACE CREDIT Transcript Service, the Lifelong Learning Resource Center, and working with business and industry in the ACE CREDIT review process. Prior to ACE, Susan served as the Director of Military and Government Contract Training at Florida Community College at Jacksonville, now Florida State College. She managed government and military training programs and delivered degree programs for service members through multiple instructional methods . She was instrumental in developing articulation agreements, creating a smooth educational path for adults. She developed and implemented a prior learning assessment program and developed accelerated and hybrid degree programs, providing an adult-friendly schedule for the working population.
Susan currently teaches management courses via distance learning, leverages technology to facilitate online faculty workshops, and develops curriculum. She received her Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education from Southern Illinois University and her Master of Arts in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She has also completed post-graduate courses with a focus on higher education leadership at Nova Southeastern University.
Technology Director, Carlos Fernandez
Carlos Fernandez is KNEXT's Information Technology Director, and has over 20 years of experience in the computer field. Carlos is responsible for developing a reliable, easy-to-use platform for every aspect of KNEXT's adult students.
Prior to working for KNEXT, Carlos owned an IT consulting company, where he served as the solutions architect for a long list of clients including Kraft General Foods, Philip Morris, SGS, Elite Agents and Schering-Plough in New York. In 2004, Carlos moved to Florida to work for Lydian Data Services as a software architect, where he helped the company grow from $5 million to $65 million in two years by creating a Rules Engine and Mortgage Compliance System. In 2006, Carlos founded Bluelight Technologies, where he served as a solutions architect. Among his clients were Fantasy Sports Engine, Alchemical Yellow Court Yard, Open Sports Network and Kaplan.
Carlos has certifications and training on CFR-Part 11 Validation, Oracle Databases, Microsoft Database, Sales Force Administration and Programming, and is a certified SCRUM master.