A Leader with a Vision: Meet Jeremy Wheaton, President and CEO of ECMC Group
By Mai P. Tran, ECMC Foundation
This story originally appeared in the ECMC Foundation 2018 Annual Report.
Jeremy Wheaton has spent his career helping students succeed. From his college days working in the financial aid office to his current role as president and CEO of ECMC Group, Jeremy has continuously focused his efforts on providing students with opportunities that will enable them to accomplish their academic goals.
Since assuming the role in August 2017, Jeremy has been working with teams across the enterprise—including ECMC Foundation, ECMC and Zenith Education Group—to help increase college access, persistence and completion; improve student loan repayment; and solve America’s workforce education and training challenges through investments, innovation and proven competencies in higher education.
In this Q&A, meet Jeremy and learn what inspires him.
Q: What drives and inspires you to help students from all backgrounds succeed?
A: I have seen firsthand how complex the process of going to college can be, so this is personal for me.
My parents are first-generation college students—and like many who are the first in their family to go to college, they fought to earn their degrees. My mother came from a family of entrepreneurs who earned their success without earning their degrees. My dad came from a low-income, working-class family, where going to college was not an expectation nor within their financial means. They had to figure it out on their own—the application process, financial aid, navigating college and so on. Thanks to them, the path was easier for my sister and me.
It is amazingly fulfilling to be in a role where I can help others, knowing it will lift up generations to come.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I love working with our teams. Throughout my career, it has been motivating to watch employees develop and advance their skills while doing good work; with some even going on to earn either their first degree or an advanced degree. Being able to witness, and at times, play a role in helping our people develop, advance, and positively impact their families, while assisting students and our surrounding communities, has been very rewarding.
Q: Why does supporting evidence-based and innovative programs and solutions matter in postsecondary education?
A: While we have come a long way in providing greater access to postsecondary education, we have more to do to ensure all students complete and succeed. Focusing on evidence-based programs and innovation ensures we are maximizing our impact with the resources we have.
Q: If you had any words of advice for students, what would that be?
A: Believe in yourself. Commit to yourself. And celebrate your successes along the way. There will be obstacles and challenges, but if you surround yourself with people who believe in you, their positive support will be there when you need someone to lean on.