TWU Ambassador Chad Wick receives national recognition for expanding college access
TWU Ambassador Chad WickORLANDO — Texas Woman’s University Ambassador Chad Wick was honored for his work in helping low-income and first-generation students enroll and complete a college education as the principal founding member of the National College Access Network (NCAN) during its national convention Monday (Sept. 28) in Orlando.
Wick, considered the “father of NCAN,” along with several other individuals from across the U.S. were recognized for their roles in launching this national organization dedicated to expanding college so that underrepresented students can achieve their educational dreams. They were honored as part of NCAN’s 20th anniversary celebrations at the conference, which included a video from First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I was humbled to receive recognition for my role in founding and organizing this important organization, whose mission I strongly believe in and am passionate about,” Wick said. “It is so rewarding to see the results of our work from two decades ago grow into such an important national initiative to expand college access to those who otherwise may not have it.”
TWU Ambassador Chad Wick, second from left, considered the “father of NCAN,” is honored along with several other individuals from across the U.S. for launching the National College Access Network during the organization’s 20th anniversary celebration at its national convention in Orlando.
Wick, who was named TWU ambassador in 2014 and is the husband of TWU Chancellor Carine M. Feyten, is the founder and president emeritus of KnowledgeWorks, a nonprofit organization that strives to create sustainable improvement in student readiness for college and careers.
“Carine and I are passionate about expanding access to college to more underrepresented students, which is why we are so proud to be a part of Texas Woman’s University and its long history of providing access and opportunity to those not traditionally served in higher education,” Wick said.
The National College Access Network is dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of support that underrepresented students receive to apply to, enter, and succeed in college. Only 8.3 percent of students from low-income families complete a four-year college degree by age 24, compared to 73 percent of students from high-income families. When nonprofit organizations and schools provide specialized early awareness information, pre-college advising on admissions and financial aid, and mentoring, college entrance and completion rates rise dramatically. NCAN and its members touch the lives of more than 2 million students and families each year and span a broad range of the education, nonprofit, government and civic sectors. The organization also advocates at the national level for policies to improve access and success for all students. For more information, visit www.collegeaccess.org.
From 1998 through 2013, Chad Wick was the founding president and CEO of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, headquartered in Cincinnati. He led the foundation to achieve its mission by providing seed grants, operating funds, extensive technical assistance and training.
Under his leadership, the foundation has worked actively to create partnerships with other funders and community organizations, often opening dialogue and enabling collaboration among entities that have not traditionally worked together. He retired and was named president emeritus of KnowledgeWorks in 2013.
In Ohio, Wick led the development of the Ohio College Access Network, which assists the college aspirations of more than 165,000 students each year. OCAN sparked the concept of turning urban neighborhood schools into Community Learning Centers, and the redesign of many low-performing urban high schools. Nationally, Wick then led the creation of the National College Access Network and the New Tech Network, a group of nearly 130 high schools in 23 states, and Strive Together, the leading effort in the country serving the “collective impact” movement.
As a dedicated community leader, Wick has worked to achieve equity and respect for diversity inside and outside the education arena. Currently, he serves on the ACT national college entrance exam board of directors as vice-chairman. Wick has received honorary doctorates of humane letters from both University of Cincinnati and Youngstown State University. Prior to leading the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, he was president and CEO of RISE Learning Solutions. He has also served as president of Mayerson Company, CEO of Southern Ohio Bank and executive vice president of the PNC Bank.
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page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM