Workforce aligned
Degree Programs


The Problem Meteor Learning is Addressing - Pervasive Talent Shortages & Skills Gaps

The world of higher education is being reshaped by adult learners seeking degrees that support their career progression, yet businesses consistently report that college graduates lack the competencies they need to be effective in their jobs - costing employers billions of dollars from productivity losses, lower retention rates, and increased costs of training. 

Today’s workforce is particularly challenged with huge talent shortages and a mismatch of skills in the “Opportunity Jobs” category - positions with $57.5+ salaries. According to’s 2016 Labor Market Outlook, 71% of posted Opportunity Jobs are in categories where employer demand outstrips supply, in part driven by lack of appropriate skills.

While 74% of Opportunity Jobs require a 4-year degree or higher, a disproportionate share of cross-disciplinary competencies are required for Opportunity Jobs, including computer and electronics knowledge, complex problem solving, and social skills. 

Employers Relying on Post-Secondary Institutions to Address Skills Gaps

Employers are increasingly relying on higher education institutions to address the huge skills gaps by delivering a highly skilled, job-ready workforce. Importantly, they expect post-secondary institutions to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees that fill their critical needs for T-shaped employees - those that have deep skills in a given area of expertise combined with the ability to think and apply expertise across topics.  

Institutions’ Challenges in Meeting Employer Needs

For institutions, the pressure is high. They’ve got to deliver new learning models that demonstrate learning outcomes and align degree programs with employers’ requirements. Faced with time, resource, and capital constraints, institutions are often challenged to address the adult learner needs while serving the needs of their traditional students.

Meteor Learning Enables Post-Secondary Institutions to Deliver Workforce-Aligned Degrees

Meteor Learning is addressing the workforce skills gaps by enabling post-secondary institutions to deliver high-quality, workforce aligned degrees for working professionals that seek degrees to support their career progression.

Meteor Learning presents a compelling solution that generates an unprecedented return for post-secondary institutions, employers and working professionals - driving enrollments for institutions with differentiated workforce aligned degrees, closing skills gaps for employers, and supporting career progression for working professionals. 

Leadership team

William Rieders, Chief Executive Officer

William leads the company as it develops and delivers student-centered educational experiences that drive life changing career opportunities for adult learners.  In his role, William guides the strategic direction of the company and focuses on how to deliver value to Meteor Learning’s expanding group of partners as well building a culture of innovation at Meteor Learning. 

He joined the company in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer and took on the CEO role in 2017. William is a proven, innovative, and visionary leader with in-depth experience in education, technology, data and analytics, and services. William joined Meteor Learning from Cengage Learning, where he was an Executive Vice President responsible for numerous strategic and operating roles. Included in his many accomplishments at Cengage is the successful development and launch of MindTap, and conceiving and leading Cengage Brain, a first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer educational channel, and successfully operating numerous New Media businesses. 

William was a Partner of The Parthenon Group, a leading global strategy consulting firm. While at Parthenon, he advised numerous clients across industries, including private equity, information publishing, and education. He was advisor to some of the most successful education players in the market. William’s work at Parthenon focused on corporate strategy, profit improvement, growth and innovation, and mergers and acquisitions.

William has been on several Boards including IMS Global Learning, CourseSmart, and Nelson Education. Mr. Rieders holds a BA from Connecticut College, and an MBA/MSIA from Carnegie Mellon University.


Donna Ritchie, Chief Operating Officer

Donna has raised the bar for what it means to put the student first.  Focused on operational excellence, Donna leads a team that develops new program strategy and implements Meteor Learning’s partner programs.  Donna also leads the technical strategy for the company. 

Donna joined Meteor Learning in 2014 as the Chief Services Officer; and was named Chief Operating Officer in 2017. Prior to Meteor Learning, Donna served a variety of K-12 and higher education curriculum and technology companies through her market research firm, K-20Research. Before launching that venture, Donna was the Vice President of Financial Operations for Global Product Development and Publishing Operations at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt where she managed all K-12 product and platform investments and drove financial operations and strategy for the technology and content development teams worldwide.

Before working in education directly, Donna was a Principal at The Parthenon Group, a global strategy consulting firm, where she managed client engagements for a range of education and technology companies from startups to mature businesses. Donna holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Economics and Japanese where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and an MBA with Honors from Harvard Business School. 


Lisa Philpott, Chief Marketing Officer

Lisa is responsible for driving enrollments in Meteor Learning’s partner programs and helping deliver value to the brands in the Meteor Learning portfolio.  Additionally she is responsible for corporate marketing.   Lisa has developed a keen understanding of the educational marketplace through the various marketing and executive roles she’s held throughout her career. In 2012 she joined Meteor Learning from Respondus, Inc., creator of assessment tools for learning systems, where she was Senior Marketing Director. Prior to that she held various senior marketing roles at eInstruction, Linkage, and WebCT, a leading e-learning provider. At WebCT she led the global marketing efforts and activities that supported a very active international customer community. Lisa was also a strategic marketing consultant for Follett Higher Ed Group as they launched their digital textbook initiative.

Previously, Lisa was the CEO of AskOnline, a leading provider of online tutoring technology used by higher education institutions and private tutoring companies across the U.S.  

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Boston University and an MBA from Babson College. She also received a certificate in “Effective Online Tutoring” from the University of Oxford. 


John Batalis, Executive Vice President, Finance and HR

John is responsible for all aspects of financial management for Meteor Learning. John works closely with Meteor Learning’s current and potential partners to determine the best opportunities for program expansion and helps identify the top programming opportunities for the partners and areas for investment by Meteor Learning.

Prior to joining Meteor Learning in 2015, John held a number of strategy and operational roles in the education space.  At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, John managed the business office of the Technology division where he supported the operational and strategic goals of the division President. At Cengage Learning, he was a Director in the Global Publishing Technology division, where he led efforts to improve the product development process by increasing operational efficiencies and improving speed to market.  Previously, John was a Sr. Associate at The Parthenon Group where he focused primarily in their Education Practice, working with the largest non-profit and for-profit organizations across the education space.

John earned a BA from Middlebury College in Economics and Psychology and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.