Marilyn Gardner Milton


About Marilyn Gardner Milton

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s career in education began when she entered college. Her first steps towards this career choice were accomplished when she graduated from the University of Connecticut with her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Education. After finishing her time at UConn, she continued her education by splitting her Masters of Education (M.Ed) between Boston State College and Framingham State University, both based in and around the Boston, Massachusetts area. In 1987 Marilyn finished the journey to earn her Ph.D. She graduated from Boston College with her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision as well as a minor in Computer Science. While both degrees would be of great use in her future, Marilyn wasn’t quite done yet. She finished her education by getting her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Suffolk University Law school, where she was also awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence: Commercial Law.

In 1985 Marilyn Gardner Milton made her first foray into the world of distance learning administration, as well as the first of her roles consulting. She became the Executive Consultant for The Center for Educational Leadership and Technology and held that position until 1995. In 1994 Marilyn became the Executive Director and the Director of Education at the Boston, Massachusetts based Computer Museum, a position she held until 1997. In 2006 she became Director of Business Development for the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), a position she holds to this day.

In 1997 Marilyn began her career in the administration of higher education institutes. She was appointed to be the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the Massachusetts Communications College and the New England Institute of Art. In 2001 she became the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Bay State College and in 2006 she became a Program Professor and Education Enterprise Associate for Nova Southeastern University, one of the largest non-profit accredited universities in the country. A position she holds to this day.

Join the President’s Forum: “Unshackling Innovation: Regulation vs. Innovation” on November 18, 2015 Washington, D.C.

Hosted by The Presidents’ Forum and United States Distance Learning Association,  Dr. Marilyn Gardner is working with Excelsior College, USDLA, as well as national educators and policy makers to plan the 12TH Annual Meeting of the Presidents’ Forum,  “Unshackling Innovation: Regulation vs. Innovation.”

The Forum is being held: 

November 18, 2015 (Wednesday) 

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce | Hall of Flags 

1615 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20062

Attendees can find the preliminary program at:

Would you like to register?  You can do so at: 

Forum attendees will join national experts who are influencing policies in the academic and distance education arena to examine and discuss the evolving promise and policy issues associated with technology-mediated learning. Connect and interact with colleagues, providers, and technology academicians and business professionals who are grappling with defining the next steps to safeguard the institutional and academic integrity of online learning providers while redoubling efforts to reach underserved and under skilled learners.

The Presidents’ Forum, established in 2004, is a collaboration of accredited, national, adult-serving institutions and programs which have embraced the power and potential of online education. The Mission of the Presidents’ Forum is to advance the recognition of innovative practice and excellence in online learning. This is accomplished by providing a venue for leaders in higher education and stakeholders to share their knowledge and learn from others’ best practices. You can find more information at

The United States Distance Learning Association was founded on the premise of creating a powerful alliance to meet the burgeoning education and training needs of learning communities via new concepts of the fusion of communication technologies with learning in broad multidiscipline applications.

The learning communities that USDLA addresses are: pre K-12, higher education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, home schooling and telemedicine. In addition USDLA is also focused on national and international technology based Distance Learning

USDLA through its mission of supporting the development and application of distance learning focuses on all legislation impacting the Distance learning community and its varied constituencies. You can find more information on USDLA at

Education is the Next Political Battle

The political atmosphere in our country is growing more tense and divided with each passing day. Every topic ranging from gay marriage to taxes to infrastructure funding is sent through the partisan grinder with cooperation and compromise becoming harder and harder to find as the Right and Left simply dig in their heels and refuse to make nice, even at the expense of the government (as in shutting it down for a failed cause) and the American people who expect our law-makers to actually get along and work together. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of nation-wide gay marriage, it seems as though education is the next great political battle that is going to tear our nation apart (other than taxes, foreign policy, the climate, and literally everything else).

Starting in July, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are going to begin looking at the No Child Left Behind law and whether it should be rewritten or not. The law was actually meant to be reviews months ago but it was pulled amid conservative objections a few months ago. Now, in an attempt to calm conservatives and other outside groups that have targeted the bill, the House leaders will allow voting on the bill as well as a number of amendments that were previously dismissed. One such amendment would allow schools to keep federal money while rejecting the regulations that come along with it.

All of this is gearing up to be another massive battle between Democrats and Republicans in congress. While it’s very likely that it won’t end up getting as divisive as the Affordable Care Act or gay marriage, there’s no denying that both sides are looking to get what they want out of this agreement. The measure is already looking at sparse democratic support (due to an overwhelming dislike of the law and the belief that it is crippling our educational system) and many republicans aren’t all that happy about it either, due to the belief that it would increase federal influence in the education system. Either way, it seems as though there is going to be some intense arguing about the law and whether it should continue; and this isn’t even taking the Common Core into account.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Children Return to School in Nepal

The massive earthquakes in Nepal happened about 5 weeks ago, killing over 8,600 people and devastating the mountainous country. Nepal is still recovering and in need of massive amounts of aid from countries around the world, aid which is being provided. Even though the country is still reeling and trying to rebuild both infrastructure and the shattered lives of its citizens, life must go on and people must continue to rebuild and move forward. There is no clearer example of this desire to move forward and improve than that of Nepalese children finally going back to school all over the country. Even though there are still schools that need to be rebuilt, the fact that children are beginning to learn and be educated means that Nepal is now starting to look towards the future again.

Over 32,000 classrooms and educational facilities were destroyed in Nepal during the earthquake. With the sheer amount of destruction the country sustained, rebuilding schools wasn’t a priority; hospitals, roads, and other emergency facilities were much higher on the list. The Nepalese children that are finally returning to school are going to be learning in tents and makeshift cottages and shacks until their proper schools are rebuilt (who knows how long this might take). However, even though the actual facilities are rough, an education minister in the Nepalese government made the point that the opening of schools, no matter how ramshackle they may be, is a sign that life is slowly returning to normal.

The government and various aid organizations have built 137 temporary learning facilities for over 14,000 children across the country. Aid workers are saying that a total of 4,500 education centers are estimated to be needed to accommodate students who have been forced to move by the earthquakes; nearly a million have been severely affected by the quakes. The opening of these temporary schools is important for a variety of reasons. The first is that it helps prevent against a lost generation of children who are poorly educated and scarred from the quakes; this would’ve been terrible for Nepal’s future. It also allows the children to have a safe space that will take their minds off the stress that the quakes and being displaced has caused. School allows children to be children and at this point in time, that’s what the Nepalese children need.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.