Karen Anderson

Year Started at Mercy College 2011


  • Ph.D., Iowa State University (2011)
  • MBA, Drake University (1985)
  • B.S., Iowa State University (1978)

Advice to Students
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”  - John Quincy Adams

Clinical/Field Experience

  • 19 plus years in higher education administration serving adult learners

Research Interests and Professional Projects

My research interests are adult learners and all the challenges they face as college students.  My dissertation was “Linking adult learner satisfaction with retention:  The role of background characteristics, academic characteristics, and satisfaction upon retention”

Recent Publications/Presentations

  • “Adult Learners:  Who are they and how should we serve them?” I-Conference, October 5, 2010
  • “Millennials (and Their Parents) on Campus Today” Way Up Conference, November 6, 2009
  • “Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers Together on Our Campus” Indian Hills Community College Diversity Conference, April 4, 2008

Professional Memberships

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
  • Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
  • Iowa Student Personnel Association (ISPA)

Community Service Involvement

Churches Outreach Group (COG); A coalition of western suburban churches actively and collaboratively involved in Christian service to the community including serving meals to the homeless and those in need, providing a Christmas shopping trip for low income children, and providing a Thanksgiving meal and a spring luncheon for the elderly.

Personal History

Upon completion of my MBA I taught marketing classes and thoroughly loved teaching and helping students succeed. Student services is an area where I can help students navigate college and be successful.


Gardening, biking, reading, and travel

Quick Info

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
(515) 643-6791

Office Location
Mercy Court, Room 131

Office Hours
Mon. - Fri. 8:00am to 4:30pm

Mailing Address
Mercy College of Health Sciences
Department of Student Services
921 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-1222