Lakeland University News

Lakeland hires new leader for Cooperative Education program

Lakeland hires new leader for Cooperative Education program


Lakeland hires new leader for Cooperative Education program

Lakeland University has hired Michael Keibler, an expert in building and implementing experiential education programs and a passionate advocate for learning by doing, to lead its award-winning Cooperative Education and Career Readiness program.

Keibler has worked for more than 15 years in higher education recruiting and placing students in experiential learning programs and opportunities, advising students, and developing and teaching curricular and co-curricular activities to aid in student career readiness.

He comes to Lakeland from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., where he has served as executive director of cooperative education and industry liaison. He developed the college's new cooperative education program serving multiple disciplines.

He advised and supported cohorts of 30-75 students annually, created new curriculum and learning opportunities, engaged with regional employers to establish the co-op program, and created platforms to connect employers and students. He oversaw the Career Services office, supporting its mission for student learning and career readiness.

Keibler implemented the inaugural experiential-based Career Scholars Cooperative Education Program and collaborated with administration, leadership and state legislators in securing millions of grant and state-funded dollars for student scholarships.

When asked why he chose Lakeland, Keibler said, “This position aligns with my passion for working with students and being able to provide them with an opportunity and pathway to engage with employers to not only gain real-world experience but the competencies needed to succeed in a changing workforce.”

Keibler said he is impressed with Lakeland's commitment to being an experiential education institution and he looks forward to continuing to grow and formalize the co-op program and increase employer networking and experiential learning opportunities for Lakeland students.

Lakeland President Beth Borgen said Keibler’s skill set comes to Lakeland at a perfect time.

“As more Lakeland students take advantage of our Cooperative Education program to earn their degree, Michael understands how to expand our program to better serve our students and employer partners,” Borgen said.

“Cooperative Education and the many ways our students are learning on the job sets us apart from our peers. We’re excited to welcome Michael to Lakeland and put his ideas and skills to work to benefit our students.”

Prior to his role at Wayne State, Keibler worked at the University of Louisville for more than a decade, including four years as a cooperative education and global engineering track coordinator. He advised undergraduate students interested in cooperative education, maintaining a caseload of more than 150 engineering students, meeting individually to assist with resume preparation, interviewing skills and discussing career goals in engineering.

He has managed more than 100 employer relationships and designed and implemented strategies to involve students, employers and faculty to integrate academic studies with work experience.

He also served at Louisville in healthcare-related education roles including program coordinator and global health administrator, assisting and advising medical students with clinical elective rotations.

Keibler has a Doctor of Education in adult and higher education leadership from Morehead State University and a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development, a bachelor’s in organizational leadership and learning and a health professions education graduate certificate from the University of Louisville.

He was a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1983-90, serving in San Antonio, Texas, and Ramstein, Germany.

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