Coaching Spotlight: Marisel Herrera

Certified Personal and Executive Coach, Consultant, Author & Motivation Speaker

How did a first-generation college and graduate school grad use coaching to transform retention rates at the largest university in the United States?

Marisel Herrera is a woman of many talents and titles. She has been a university educator, is a nationally known motivational speaker, consultant, life coach and the author of two books. She served as the Director of Training & Development at the First-Year Success Center (the coaching center) at Arizona State University (ASU) and founded her own company, Mariselspeaks & ARISE Success Coaching based in Tempe, Arizona.

Her coaching journey began in 2012 when she was hired by Arizona State University to create their First Year Success Center.

“They really wanted to create a way to provide personalized support and help to students, particularly as freshmen, to feel like there was somebody there who would support them through their journey and they gave me that charge,” she said.

The university-wide initiative began with 30 part-time peer coaches and four staff, and within the first five years, grew to 100 staff and 80 coaches.

In 2015, Marisel attended the CaPP Institute’s Coach Training Intensive (CTI) and became a certified personal coach before completing the Certified Personal and Executive Coach (CPEC) program. Several years later, CaPP Institute CEO, Valorie Burton, visited her at ASU and even held CTI on campus.

“I feel like Valorie and her work has been a part of my journey since the very beginning of creating the center,” Marisel said.

Through Marisel’s work, ASU has become a national model of retention for education. She now spends much of her time traveling to other institutions teaching them her unique coaching framework for use in higher education and helping them create similar coaching centers.

In 2020, Marisel decided to go out on her own into full time consulting.

She said her transition out of education has been challenging, and she’s connected to many of her former colleagues. She was fortunate to have a network that helped with her business and credibility.

“On the day-to-day, I’m working smarter, not harder. And even though I was, in many ways, such a workaholic, even though it was very rewarding, I find that I have a lot more margin now.”

She describes herself as a person of faith and asked God to give her a greater platform to impact more lives. She got the opportunity to do something short of impossible, building ASU’s coaching center just six weeks before it launched.

“When I went through the process, faith was a huge part of it. I literally would pray and get ideas and write them down, and all of them came to pass. And I share that because the idea of faith is not separate from our business. It is actually a divine strategy.”

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