Ellyn McLaughlin is a higher education specialist in Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville's education practice.

Ellyn is an expert in compliance and accreditation with significant success in helping educational institutions and programs meet quality assurance standards. She has developed and reviewed national and international accreditation submissions and materials, including those related to non-compliance sanctions, change of control, substantive change, and reaffirmation or renewal of accreditation. Ellyn has direct experience in preparing submissions for Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). She also has worked closely with institutions and programs in preparing submissions to a wide array of programmatic accreditors, including the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), American Culinary Federation (ACF), Association to Advance College Schools of Business (AACSB), Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management (CAHME), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP), Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and others. She has been trained as a reviewer for the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Programs (ABHES), ACBSP, and MSCHE.

Ellyn is highly skilled in assessment and evaluation and has formalized assessment processes and developed institutional effectiveness protocols and policies for various institutions. As a highly successful grant writer, she has also authored more than $65 million in successful grant applications that have supported the expansion of programs and building of capacity across colleges and universities.

Ellyn has experience in project management, program design and evaluation, governance matters, strategic planning, policy writing, and data collection. She has presented nationally and internationally on many higher education topics, including accreditation, assessment, articulation of credit, and strategic planning.

Before joining Powers, among other positions, Ellyn was an Independent Higher Education Consultant, and served as Associate Provost for Assessment for the University of Maryland University College (now University of Maryland Global Campus), Vice President of Assessment and Accreditation for The Art Institutes International System, and Vice President for Quality Assurance for Laureate Education. In her institutional roles, Ellyn provided support and oversight in matters of compliance, including accreditation, strategic planning, and policy review, and worked with leadership and faculty in matters of academics, student learning assessment, and quality assurance. While serving as an administrator at Anne Arundel Community College, she was instrumentally involved in the development and state approval of a model outcomes-based teacher education program that dramatically changed the articulation of credit between community colleges and four-year institutions across Maryland. She has previously held faculty positions in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and began her career in K-12 education.

Ellyn holds a Doctor of Education from West Virginia University, a Master of Arts from Marshall University, and a Master of Education from Vanderbilt University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Charleston and completed Post Baccalaureate Study at West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

Practice Areas


Ed.D., West Virginia University

M.A., Marshall University

M.Ed, Vanderbilt University

Post Baccalaureate Study, West Virginia University Institute of Technology

B.A., University of Charleston

Honors & Awards

University Faculty of the Year, University of Charleston

University Academic Advisor of the Year, University of Charleston

National Award for Outstanding Advising, National Academic Advising Association