Dr. Jim Hutton Named CEO of Career Quest

Dr. Jim Hutton Named CEO of Career Quest Learning Centers

Jim Hutton, Ph.D has been named CEO of Career Quest Learning Centers (CQLC). In his new role, Dr. Hutton is responsible for overseeing and developing CQLC leaders in charge of education, compliance, admissions, financial aid, marketing, IT and the other departments integral to the school’s success.

“I have served on CQLC’s board of directors since 2010 and watched our progress as the number of campuses doubled. I wasn’t ready to retire, and when the board offered me the opportunity of becoming involved with the college on a full-time basis, I couldn’t turn down the fantastic honor,” Dr. Hutton said. “Everyone involved with CQLC shares the vision of being the biggest and the very best career college system in Michigan and eventually the entire Great Lakes region. We’ll accomplish this by focusing on our students, employees and the employers who hire our graduates. The current team, led by president and COO Melissa Soderberg, are experienced and dedicated educators. I’m honored to join such an outstanding team.

Dr. Hutton is a well-known leader in career-focused higher education, having been a strategic level executive, board director (five for-profit and four not-for-profit), and co-owner for several outstanding career college groups. He also served as a Commissioner for Accrediting Council for Independent College and Schools (ACICS) for six years and as Chairman of ACICS' Board of Directors in 2006. Hutton recently retired, for the third time, as the president and chief executive officer for Harrison College in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is currently the publisher of Career Education Review and a director for CQLC.

Dr. Hutton began his work in post-secondary career education in 1989 as an adjunct business administration teacher and has been a department chair, academic dean, campus director, CFO, COO, CEO, chancellor, director and partner for various career colleges. Hutton was the board chairperson for Arizona-based Anthem Education Group from 2008 through 2012 and the chancellor/CEO from 2010 until its sale in 2012. 

In addition to his service as a Commissioner for ACICS, Dr. Hutton has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for Private Colleges Alabama Department of Education; the Public Relations and CCAPAC Committees and a board member for the Career College Association (now CECU); is an active ACICS Evaluator and Appeals Board Panel Member; and a Certified Real Estate Broker (CRB).

Publications by Dr. Hutton include: Journal of Health Care Marketing; Health Care Marketing Quarterly; Journal of International Retailing; and Health Care Management Review. He was the 1995 recipient of the UAB Lawrence Reynolds Historical Essay Award. His dissertation coined the phrase “Healthscapes” and researched the impact the tangible healthcare environment plays on patient satisfaction, quality assessments, and positive customer behavior outcomes.

Dr. Hutton’s academic credentials include a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Faulkner University in Birmingham, and an MBA and Ph.D. in Administration-Health Services, both summa cum laude, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research interests are in career and adult education, workforce development, strategic culture, and services marketing.



“I’m enrolled at Career Quest so I can be better at the job I have now. I’ve learned how to recognize health symptoms before they turn into a health care crisis. More knowledge means I help my patients lead the best lives possible.” 


"I thought, why not go back to school and be able to help a family, give them that comfort that I received?"