- Doctoral Studies (Educational Leadership: Reading, Literacy and Language), Concordia University
- 2014, E.S.L. Endorsement, Olivet Nazarene University
- 2009, K-12 Reading Specialist, Olivet Nazarene University
- 2007, M.S.E. (Reading, Language Arts, and Social Science), Olivet Nazarene University
- 1997, M.A. (Curriculum and Instruction in Language Arts),
- 1987, B.S. (Elementary Education K-9), Olivet Nazarene University
- 1985, B.S. (Early Childhood w/ Special Education Approval), St. Xavier University
Marilyn Cordes has been married to Lanny Cordes for 42 years. They live in grant Park, Illinois, and they have two children; a son Jason Cordes, and a daughter Stephanie Alvis. They have five grandchildren. Professor Cordes is currently teaching in her 29th year of her career in the Manteno School District # 5 as a Title 1 Reading Specialist and ESL Teacher. In March of 2016, she will begin her 18th year of teaching as an adjunct Professor for Olivet in the Read, ESL and TLED programs. She has also taught in past MED, MAT and MAE programs. She is currently an IllinoisTitle1 board member and a local association Two Rivers Reading board member.