Cupcake junkie. Sci-fi lover. Pop-culture aficionado.
Dr. Erin Wheeler’s exceptional leadership ability, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to empowering low-income, minority, and 1st-generation students make her a perfect change agent in the field of college completion. With nearly 15 years of experience, Dr. Wheeler has leveraged her knowledge of STEM education, cognitive science, student development, teaching and learning, entrepreneurship, management, and leadership to help institutions holistically improve college success and individuals reach their highest potential.
Dr. Erin is the Executive Director of College Beyond, a New Orleans-based non-profit dedicated to helping low-income students enroll and complete college. Prior to College Beyond, Dr. Wheeler served as Assistant Provost of Student Success at Kentucky State University where she made significant strides in improving institutional culture and student success metrics. Through a multifaceted strategic plan based on research, high-impact practices, and embodied innovation, she was able to help the institution increase retention rates from 45% to 68% within two years.
She is the founder of Be Preppy College Coaching, a company developed to provide low-cost, high-quality counseling to underserved students and their families. She is also the founder of The Refinery Youth Project, a non-profit committed to bringing out-of-school experiences to rural, high-achieving, underserved students in her hometown of Amite, LA. As a Productivity Coach, she helps professionals of color to streamline their life, overcome their fears, and achieve new levels of success so that they can have the financial freedom to live on purpose and make an impact in the world.
As an independent author, she helps 1st-generation students develop the right mindset that is for college and personal success through her book, Geaux Wiser: Secrets to College Success. . As a follow-up to Geaux Wiser, her second book, Live Wiser: The Ultimate Guide to Adulting provides valuable insights into the pitfalls of adulting while black and 1st-gen. In addition to her book, she is also the host of a weekly podcast, called Woke Wise College Kids, where she provides soulful advice on a wide range of topics that relate to the college experience.
While her career and entrepreneurial endeavors are an important part of her life, her relationship with her family and community brings her the greatest joy. Honored to be a servant leader, she has served her community through various civic and religious organizations since childhood. Currently, she is a board member and chief of staff of her mission-focused church, Higher Ground Outreach Church where she helps organize outreach events and capital campaigns. She is also a charter member of a new chapter of Delta Sigma Theta that will bring more resources to rural areas of North Tangipahoa Parish in Louisiana. She is a regular volunteer at local high schools to help improve college preparation as well as provide general support and assistance. Besides serving her community, she loves spending quality time with her family. She enjoys, even more, the hours she spends with them building family businesses to preserve the legacy of her grandparents.