Pamela Northrup

Pam Northrup is President of Bigger Picture Strategy, providing consulting services to higher education institutions and agencies on maintaining operations while planning toward the future. Currently, she works on campus operations, career and workforce planning for higher education, long-term online growth and academic master planning for the future. Dr. Northrup continues to work on digital frameworks supporting scale and strategy for institutions planning to design and launch microcredentials by working with both higher education and key industry partners ensuring alignment with both academic requirements and industry needs. Dr. Northrup has spent the past 25 years focused on advancing learning opportunities for non-traditional learners. She launched online learning in 1994 at the University of West Florida and led its continued growth for over 20 years. She led the Division of Continuing Education and shaped it to support students, employers and the community in reskilling and upskilling the workforce, while building bridges for youth to “inspire and engage” toward future careers through K12 “Explore” summer camps. She led the effort to launch a military and veterans resource center to support both academic and support services for military students. Finally, she led the design and development of a statewide initiative in Florida to support adults that had some college and no degree to complete and connect to future job opportunities. For many years, Dr. Northrup served as CEO of an Innovation Institute, where she participated in design and action-oriented programming to support multiple accelerated learning strategies supporting non-traditional students. She and her team developed competency-based education models, techniques for badging in areas that were meaningful to employers and began an initiative to launch microcredentials in workforce focused areas. She also served as a Vice President leading research, innovation and economic diversification by launching initiatives including aligning industry recognized certifications to academic credit to support the future while working with middle and high school aviation-focused career academies on advancing industry certifications prior to graduation. Dr. Northrup served on multiple state level-appointed groups focused on advancing online learning for higher education. She served on the Florida Board of Governor's 2025 Online Strategic Planning Committee, was affordability chair for the Florida Board of Governors' Distance Learning Strategic Planning Committee and worked on numerous system level tools to support Florida’s higher education institutions.Aligned to career-ready education, Northrup focused much of her research and time on initiatives supporting STEM education for K12 students to include co-writing the curriculum for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation’s National Flight Academy that is a fully immersive, simulation-based environment designed to inspire students into STEM disciplines. She also served on the group that launched a statewide career education and planning tool to serve K-20 and Florida citizens. She also worked on several other STEM focused projects through the years including serving as a lead designer for the launch of her former university’s Center for Cybersecurity where she and her team aligned curriculum and launched kids “Coder Dojos”. She has worked with TEQGames at Universal Studios to develop the STEAM App series for the Universal Studios youth programs that highlighted the science of roller coasters and other themed entertainment. Finally, Dr. Northrup worked closely with a team from the Center for Simulation and Maritime Training to support the development and evaluation of training for cruise ship captains, engineers and environmental support teams.


Career Ready Education Through Experiential Learning
Pamela Northrup, Karen Rasmussen, Robin Colson. © 2021. 357 pages.
Despite the promise of competency-based education (CBE), learner-centered issues related to support, retention, and program completion rates remain problematic. In addition, the...
Handbook of Research on Competency-Based Education in University Settings
Karen Rasmussen, Pamela Northrup, Robin Colson. © 2017. 454 pages.
The majority of adult learners are looking to attain their desired academic credentials within the shortest amount of time possible. By implementing competency-based programs...