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Pamela J. Tate profile

Pamela J. Tate


President & CEO, The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)


Master's in English and journalism, University of Illinois

Pamela Tate

Since becoming president and CEO of CAEL in 1990, Pamela J. Tate has become recognized for her work within the higher education, public, and private sectors to make it easier for adults to get the education and training they need to succeed and to remain employable.

She is also known for helping colleges and universities develop Prior Learning Assessment programs and improve the quality of their services for working learners. Tate has worked with employers on tuition assistance policy, implementation of career and educational advising for employees, and exemplary practices in employee learning and development. She has led CAEL in the development of projects that unite business, government, labor, and postsecondary education to address workforce skill shortages — resulting in industry-sponsored degree and certificate programs online, industrywide career pathways programs, and regional lifelong learning and talent development initiatives. As a presenter, she is regularly sought out for her vision and insights into adult learning and workforce development and their vital relationship to the future of the economy.

In 1996, Tate was acknowledged for a career devoted to expanding lifelong educational opportunities for adults with the Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, conferred by SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She also received honorary doctorate degrees in humane letters from DePaul University's School for New Learning in 2005 and from Thomas Edison State College in 2007. In 2011, she received the degree of Doctor of Public Service honoris causa from St. Leo University. In 2013, Tate was awarded the President's Medal from Excelsior College in recognition of her continued dedication to expanding opportunities for adult learners.

Among her many professional activities, she is a member of the Commission on Quality Assurance and Alternative Higher Education, formed in 2013 by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Tate completed her doctoral coursework at the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School of Communications, and earned master's degrees in both English and journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign.