Degrees of Change’s Tim Herron Wins 2017 Executive Leadership Award of Excellence

September 11, 2017

By Allie Ciaramella, Communications Manager

Degrees of Change President Tim Herron won the Executive Leadership Award of Excellence at the 22nd annual NCAN national conference today in San Diego, CA.

The Executive Leadership Award of Excellence recognizes the dedication and hard work of an individual serving as a college access program’s Executive Director, President, or as a member of its Board of Trustees or Directors. Tim is not only the President but also the Founder of NCAN member Degrees of Change, a nonprofit based in Tacoma, WA that helps “communities and colleges equip students to learn together through college and lead together back home.”

Denver Scholarship Foundation Executive Director Nathaniel Easley presents the award to Degrees of Change President Tim Herron. 

As a high school math teacher 15 years ago, Tim developed the Northwest Leadership Foundation’s Act Six initiative, Tacoma-Seattle’s only full-tuition, full-need urban leadership scholarship. Since it was incorporated as the central office for Act Six in 2011, Tim has guided Degrees of Change to expand the initiative, which has helped more than 600 underrepresented students succeed in college and become leaders in the Pacific Northwest.

Act Six is just one of Degrees of Change’s core programs – the other is Ready to Rise, which Tim conceptualized in 2014 based in part on his doctoral dissertation, Promoting College Completion Through Leadership Among Underrepresented Students. (Two years before, Tim had earned his doctorate in higher education leadership and policy from the University of Washington). Ready to Rise gives students enhanced, cohort-based leadership training and college supports – sans scholarship – to students attending more affordable public two-year and four-year colleges than Act Six participants. This fall, the program will send its first cohorts of scholars from three Washington communities to seven colleges.

But Tim didn’t stop there. In October of 2015, Degrees of Change took on support for college access and completion professionals with the development of its Foyost – short for “follow your students” – College Enrollment Visualizer tool. Created in response to the field’s challenges in obtaining and using student enrollment, persistence and graduation data, the tool helps organizations analyze their data faster, and better. 

For the 2017 Executive Leadership Award of Excellence, Tim’s organization will receive $1,000 in support of a new, one-time scholarship made in his or her honor. Past winners include: 

  • 2016: Austin Buchan, Executive Director, College Forward, Austin, TX
  • 2015: Kim Mazzuca, 10,000 Degrees, San Rafael, CA  
  • 2014: Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network, Lansing, MI
  • 2013: Faith A. Sandler, Executive Director, Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  • 2012: Nicole Farmer Hurd, Ph.D., Founder & Executive Director, College Advising Corps, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2011: Bonnie Sutton, Executive Director, Access College Foundation, Norfolk, VA
  • 2010: Nancy Leopold, Executive Director, CollegeTracks, Bethesda, MD
  • 2009: Monica Montenegro, Executive Director, East Bay Consortium / California Student Opportunity Assistance Program, Oakland, CA
  • 2008: Virginia "Ginny" Donohue, Executive Director, On Point for College, Syracuse, NY 
  • 2007: Andrea Cockrun, Chief Executive Officer, The Fulfillment Fund, Los Angeles, CA

NCAN solicits nominees from its membership for the annual Awards of Excellence in College Access and Success. A committee of NCAN members reviews all nominations, with final decisions confirmed by the NCAN board of directors. NCAN thanks the eight members of the 2017 Awards Committee for their service:

  • Michelle Alejano, Washington College Access Network
  • Janet Cunningham, Citizens for Educational Excellence
  • Linda Jensen, Arizona College Access Network
  • Zenia Henderson, CollegeTracks
  • Nancy Leopold, CollegeTracks
  • Kaitlyn Sanders, Nativity Miguel Coalition
  • Teresa Steinkamp, Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis
  • Ashley Woodous, ACCESS College Foundation

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