Carissa Little oversees the unit responsible for developing and delivering online, in-person, and blended Stanford learning experiences to matriculated Stanford students and to learners around the world. The Stanford Center for Professional Development works closely with Stanford faculty and instructors, departments, schools, and centers to create and extend engaging, best-in-class online education including credit-bearing degree and certificate programs; group and custom cohort programs; credentialed professional education, as well as free and open learning opportunities. The courses and programs are available through Stanford Online, Stanford’s online learning portal, which is operated and managed by SCPD.

Little has more than 20 years of experience working in extended higher education at Stanford. Over that time she has collaborated with faculty and departments through the evolution of distance learning from broadcast TV telecourses, to streaming media, to massive open online courses, to post-pandemic teaching and learning. Most recently she was Associate Vice Provost and Chief of Staff, for the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, where her expertise, solution-oriented approach, and innovative vision contributed to the organization’s enhanced ability to serve both campus-based students and learners worldwide.

Prior to Stanford, she worked as an educator and in high-tech product management, and was an entrepreneur and co-owner of a Silicon Valley-based venture. A graduate of Boston University, she has represented Stanford at numerous committees and conferences including the Symposium for Higher Education, the USDLA International Forum for Women in E-Learning, and the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education, Association for Engineering Education, Coursera Council, and the IVY+ Online Education Group. At Stanford, she most recently contributed to the Long-range Vision Online Education Task Force and the Digital Education Strategy Group.

Little is a firm believer in the power of extended education to increase global access to knowledge and research, and create more informed and inspired learners who are empowered to make a positive impact on our world.

Current Role at Stanford

Associate Dean, Global and Online Education, School of Engineering
Executive Director, Stanford Center for Professional Development and Stanford Online