Thursday, May 26, 2016

An associate degree for Cuyamaca College dean Scott Herrin

Scott Herrin
Cuyamaca College dean Scott Herrin spent years going to college to get his bachelor’s and master’s degree, and ultimately a doctorate in educational leadership. He’ll be adding one more diploma to his wall next week: an associate degree from Cuyamaca College.

After a year of taking classes online, Herrin will be receiving an associate degree in lifelong health and well-being when Cuyamaca College holds its commencement on Wednesday. Herrin said he earned his other degrees to advance his professional career, while this degree was simply a learning experience – about both the subject and to delve into the student experience.

“What made me decide to do this is because I have fallen in love with the community college,” Herrin said. “Who we are and what we do is so important. If I am going to make a career working in this system, I thought it was super important for me to say that I also am a product of the community college.”

Although he’ll be participating in commencement as the college’s dean of math, science and engineering, Herrin said he won’t be joining the college’s 640 graduates who will be receiving more than 1,000 degrees and certificates.

“I did this for me and I am proud of it,” he said. “But there are so many better stories taking place at commencement.”

Herrin is well-known at Cuyamaca College after working there for six years, but he said he was able to maintain a certain level of anonymity in his online classes. Teachers and fellow students were less likely to recognize him because his full name is Kevin Scott Herrin, and he showed up on class rosters as Kevin Herrin instead of the middle name he goes by.

“One of my former students ended up being a classmate and she asked me on a discussion board if I was the dean,” Herrin said. “I emailed her and told her I was trying to remain anonymous.”

Like many students, Herrin had to juggle his classes with a busy work schedule and parenting his 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. He said his experience helped him better empathize with the workload and procedures that students face at the college.

“It made me truly appreciate our students. I always have, but it really makes you understand the effort our students make to come to school,” Herrin said. “They want to be here and I want to help them!”