Jonathan Santiago

2022 Alumnus of the Year - Jonathan Santiago '05


Berkeley College alumnus Jonathan Santiago joined the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) in 2011 and rose through the ranks to the position of Executive Director of Transition and College Access Centers (TCAC), where he manages community resources that can broaden college and postsecondary opportunities for students across the five boroughs. 

He credits Berkeley College with giving him a successful start to his career. 

“Berkeley College prepared me with a five-star education, which laid the foundation in helping me become an organized and efficient leader,” said Santiago, who graduated in 2005. 

As the first in his family to attend college, Santiago knows the importance of higher education and how a degree can change someone’s life.   

“I see myself being successful in the future by guiding and coaching high school students that come from a similar social and economic background as I did and helping them to be aware of excellent postsecondary institutions,” he said. 

In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Management from Berkeley College, Santiago holds graduate degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Seton Hall University, and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Syracuse University. 

Santiago has always been passionate about helping students find success through educational opportunities. He began his career as a teacher and administrator in the Newark, NJ, Public School System. After joining the NYCDOE, he was awarded the 30 under 30 Award for Educational Executive Leadership by the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, under the Bloomberg administration in 2013.

Santiago was also named a “Hometown Hero” by the New York Daily News in February 2022 for leading an effort during the COVID-19 pandemic to hand-deliver checks to thousands of students with disabilities who hold jobs through the Transition and College Access Centers.

He was the youngest individual to be named an Executive Board Member of the New York State Association of Incarcerated Educational Programs (NYSAIEP). Through the NYSAIEP, Santiago mentors incarcerated youth, helping them establish pathways to success through education or employment after they serve their sentence. 

“If you want to be a successful person both in your personal and professional life, you must work hard,” said Santiago said, a resident of Gillette, NJ. “You will always reap the benefits of hard work.”


Previous Alum of The Year Honorees

2021 - Maurice K. Barrett 

2020 - Troy Scott

2019 - Karen Pena

2018 - Jessica M. Mahoney

2017 - Nancy Robles-Guess

2016 - Edison A. Jaquez

2015 - Tamba D. Aghailas

2014 - Melvin Montalvo

2013 - Donna M. Boles

2012 - Cecilia Garcia & Etta Rudolf Denk

2011 - Eduardo Perez & Busingye Matsiko-Andan