About College Matters

Marylin Newell is the founder/lead consultant at College Matters, a private consulting practice dedicated to helping institutions improve key metrics, attain and maintain accreditation, and improve the overall quality of the educational experience for students, staff, and faculty. A long-time veteran of the higher education industry, Marylin has experience as a faculty member, academic dean, campus director, college president, and accreditation commissioner.

Turnaround Operation

With a strong background in business stemming from her experience in other industries, Marylin led three colleges through financial turnarounds by focusing on comprehensive enrollment management planning and execution; admissions and retention; rebranding and repositioning the institutions within their local markets; improving academic programming and reputation through the implementation of comprehensive program reviews; new program design and implementation, and faculty development; and infusing fiscal responsibility into the culture of the institutions. Project goals Marylin has achieved during her employment or through consulting engagements include:

  • Increased student enrollment by margins of as much as 20%
  • Improved overall annual financial performance as much as 12%
  • Increased student retention as much as 8.5%
  • Assisted in national and regional accreditation and reaccreditation and/or state authorization
  • Guided the design and implementation of one-stop student service initiatives

Academic Background

Marylin earned a PhD in Management and Organization at Capella University and holds a Master’s degree in Adult Education with a concentration in counseling from the University of Southern Maine. She served as a New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) commissioner on both the Commission on Technical and Career Institutions and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, was an accreditation reviewer for the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools, an Executive Board member with the New England College Council, and a member of the Maine Higher Education Council.

About College Matters

College Matters was founded in 2005 to partner with postsecondary administrators, owners, and governing boards to guide them in achieving their desired results in school operations including academics, enrollment management, accreditation, executive management, and student services.

Over the 14 years of consulting, Dr. Newell has completed projects involving the following accrediting bodies:


  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges


  • Association for Biblical Education
  • Accrediting Commission on Career Schools and Colleges
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Council on Occupational Education
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission


  • Accrediting Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • American Bar Association (Paralegal)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences