Technology Focused on Student Success

The mission of PreparED Learning is to design and deliver innovative educational products aimed at helping the underprepared students, working with the institutions that teach them, ready for taking on college-level coursework. We leverage our decades of work in software engineering and instructional design, data analytics, and our deep experience with discovering and using Open Educational Resources (OER) to deliver effective and low-cost supplemental instruction that works with existing curriculum and infrastructure.

A major issue facing most colleges and universities is underprepared students. Along with the best practices and student success strategies we have developed for many community colleges and universities, we are using new technology advances to help administrators, faculty, and student success staff prepare students for the large demands of higher education, and to ultimately help them succeed.”

–– Patrick McCallum, CEO

Patrick McCallum

CEO and Co-Founder
Patrick McCallum

Patrick McCallum, CEO and Co-Founder, has over 30 years of experience advocating for others and facilitating the change they want to see in the world. Described as “an amazing strategist with integrity and persistence,” Patrick is a widely recognized expert on higher education issues, and considered one of the most savvy, influential higher ed policy experts in the United States.

Product Content

CBT (Collaborative Brain Trust)


CBT is a team of over 200 top-level executives, university administrators, and organizational experts who create custom practical solutions for meeting today’s educational challenges. CBT consultants and advisors were instrumental in coordinating the efforts of faculty curators and assessment developers, providing assistance in instructional design, and testing the potential efficacy of PreparED.

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Steve Hammersly


Steven Hammersly spent the first 15 years of his career in the IT consulting and software industry, and the past 15 years working at Pearson Education developing digital learning product partnerships, evaluating ed-tech acquisition candidates, and leading Pearson’s entry into digital textbooks, mobile learning applications, and audio education supplements. He is a member of the Media Studies faculty at the New School for Public Engagement in NYC, where he lectures on media economics, and media technology in education. He holds an A.B. in Economics from the University of California (Berkeley), and an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research.

Jill Wakefield

Senior Consultant

Jill Wakefield is the recently retired Chancellor of Seattle Colleges, and was the longest-serving (and first female) chancellor in the district’s history. Jill started with the district as a program assistant in the veterans office at South Seattle Community College, then served as public information officer, director of development, vice president for institutional advancement and vice president for instruction. She was president of South Seattle Community College from 2003 to 2008, and was named Chancellor of the system in 2009. Jill is widely known for piloting the first applied baccalaureate programs in the country–programs that allow students to earn four-year degrees in community colleges–and for initiating I-BEST, a nationally recognized model for mixing basic skills remediation and technical education in credit-bearing classes.


Mike Ortiz

Senior Consultant

Michael Ortiz was Cal Poly-Pomona’s fifth President, retiring from the post at the end of 2014. Prior to his appointment in 2003 to head the University, he was Vice President for Academic Affairs at CSU Fresno, having earlier taught in the schools of education at Colorado State and at Appalachian State. Michael is a recognized leader in higher education, particularly in advancing educational opportunities within underserved communities, and the promotion of effective student success initiatives. He holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of New Mexico, and PhD from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). In 2008 Latino Magazine named him one of the Top 25 Latinos in Education.


James Walton

Vice President and Director, CBT Professional Services

James Walton manages CBT’s higher education consulting practice, and has, in addition, founded and serves as Managing Member of Walton Advisories Limited, an education consulting firm serving public and private universities and colleges. He specializes in helping clients implement industry best practices, as well as untraditional techniques, to transform an institution into a model 21st century enterprise. He incorporates many resources that are not yet fully engrained in education, like data analytics, marketing automation, and Brand Valuation techniques.

Our team sought to take a completely different approach to what has been a long-standing issue for administrators and faculty–helping the underprepared student succeed in their critical first year of college. We set our sights on building a practical, effective, and affordable solution that would take advantage of advances in digital pedagogy, media technology, analytics, and motivational dynamics, as well as the wide availability of high-quality, open-source educational content. We designed PreparED products to become part of the educator’s toolkit for helping less prepared students not just get up-to-speed, but thrive, in their college careers.”

–– Steven Hammersly, Co-Founder