Karen Milheim

Core Faculty
Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences
M.S. Higher Education

Dr. Karen Milheim’s formal training is in adult education, instructional design, and training and development, where she has served in various roles over her 20+ year career. Earlier in her career, Dr. Milheim served as a Manager of human resources, training, and development for an educational business publisher located outside of Philadelphia, PA. She has extensive experience as an instructional designer, consulting for online and on-ground higher education institutions in areas such as needs assessment, course design and development, media conceptualization/development, competency mapping, and evaluation. Dr. Milheim began her career at Walden in the Center for Undergraduate Studies and Center for Student Success, where she was an Associate Director in the Academic Skills Center for several years. Currently, Dr. Milheim is a core faculty member in the School of Higher Education, Leadership, and Policy working with students at both the master's and doctoral levels. Dr. Milheim’s current research interests focus primarily on the intersection of cultural diversity, instructional design, and online learning, as well as adult education. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on these, and related areas. In 2018, she was appointed to the Center for Faculty Excellence Advisory Council for a 2-year term. In 2017, she was recognized by Walden University as the recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award for the Riley College of Education and Leadership.

Courses Taught

EDUC 6761 - Globalization in Higher Education

EDUC 6155 - Understanding Higher Education

EDUC 6156 - Understanding Students

EDUC 6157 - Understanding Institutions

EDUC 6171 - Frameworks for Adult Learning

EDUC 6172 - Cultural Diversity and Motivation

EDUC 6174 - Developing Effective Teaching Practices

EDUC 6176 - Facilitating Collaboration and Group Learning

EDUC 6178 - Organizations, Systems, and Change

EDUC 6263 - Best Practices for Student Success

EDUC 6753 - Program Planning and Development for Online Learning

EDUC 6758 - Creating Engaging Learning Experiences

EDUC 6759 - Assessing for Learning

EDUC 6760 - Facilitating Learning Online

EDUC 6762 - Administering International Higher Education Programs

EDUC 6960 - Program Capstone: Master's Project

EDPD 8020 - Organizational Research, Assessment, and Evaluation

EDUC 6175 - Improving Adult Learning

EDUC 6180 - Assessing Online Environments for Adult Learners

EDUC 6181 - Developmental Education: Theory and Practice

EDUC 6182 - Strategies for Success in Developmental Education

EDUC 6190 - Practical Applications in Adult Learning

EDUC 6271 - Frameworks for Adult Learning

EDUC 6754 - Administering and Assessing Online and Distance Learning

EDUC 6757 - Planning for Learning

WCSS 3100 - Skills for Academic Integrity

WCSS 6000 - Graduate Writing I

WCSS 6011 - Graduate Writing II

WCSS 6100 - Critical Thinking and Logic

WCSS 6150 - Graduate Writing for Non Native English Speakers


BA, Penn State University

MEd, Penn State Great Valley

EdD, Penn State Harrisburg

Awards / Honors

Faculty Excellence Award, Walden University, College of Education and Leadership, 2017


Milheim, K. L. (2018). Cultivating Diverse Online Classrooms through Effective Instructional Design. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishers .

Dunn, P. J., Milheim, K. L. (2017). Strategies for enhancing informal patient education in nursing practice. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

Milheim, K. L. (2014). Facilitation across cultures in the online classroom. International Journal of Learning, Teaching, and Educational Research

Milheim, K. L. (2012). Towards a better experience: Examining student needs in the online classroom through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs model. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

Milheim, K. L. (2011). The role of adult education philosophy in facilitating the online classroom. Adult Learning

Milheim, K. L. (2010). The role of collaborative reflection in the career development of adult literacy and basic education program directors. Canadian Journal of Career Development

Milheim, K. L. (2007). Influence of technology on informal learning among adult literacy students. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal

Milheim, K. L., Bichsel, J. (2007). Accommodating low-income adult students: Recommendations for practice. Journal of Continuing Higher Education


Milheim, K. L. (2017). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Online Learning.

Milheim, K. L., Fraenza, C. (2014). Identifying and Understanding Cultural Differences in the Online Classroom. Penn State Harrisburg

Milheim, K. L. (2011). Using principles of andragogy to enhance the classroom learning experience.. Penn State Great Valley