Graduation is right around the corner. Caps and gowns are being picked up and graduation party planning is in full gear.The festivities will begin on Friday, May 4 with the Nursing Capping and Pinning at 6 p.m. in the Greenhouse. The following day, the 47th annual Seward County Community College Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m.
Although the ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m., it is recommended that family and friends arrive at 9:30 in order to grab a parking space and select seats. After the commencement ceremony, the GED graduation will take place, beginning at 1:30.
Preparing for graduation has been a long process for every one and SCCC faculty is all hands on deck.
“Graduation is coordinated through the Registar’s office. Staff helps during the practice session and those exempt from the practice help guide the students during the actual graduation ceremony. The most hectic part is the practice. Everybody’s excited and nobody’s listening.” Celeste Donovan, Vice president of Student Services, said.
This year, over 300 students will receive Certificates of Completion and Associate’s Degrees. Most students plan on transferring to schools in Kansas but schools in Oklahoma and Texas are also popular among SCCC transfer students.
Kansas State University draws in 32 percent of SCCC graduates. With Fort Hays University coming close in second with 29 percent of graduates transfering.
The University of Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle State University tied for third place with only 14 percent of the graduates transferring and West Texas A&M snagged the final seat in the top five colleges. WTAMU attracts 12 percent of SCCC graduates.
This Spring semester, the most earned degree among students is an Associate of Science. A certificate of Completion is the second highest earned, followed by an Associate of Applied Science.
This year’s commencement speech will be given by Alumni, Sheina Fernandes. Fernandes attended Seward in 2011. She is currently working and going to school in the Kansas City area. Fernandes was born in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil and was a member of the Seward County Saints Volleyball team. After her time at SCCC, she transferred to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she earned a bachelor’s in Business.
As graduation day draws near, students are reminiscing on their years at SCCC. For one 2018 graduate, this puts her one step closer to realizing her lifelong dream.
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“[Graduating] means that I am closer to earning my bachelors in elementary education, and I couldn’t be more excited because it always been my dream to be a teacher,” Kemberly Zamora, Education major, said.
Zamora took on the challenge of graduating in one year. With this goal in mind, she took summer class and more than 19 credit hours in the Fall and Spring semester. Zamora is leaving SCCC grateful for the experiences. Her time at SCCC introduced her to teachers that challenged her and taught her more than she expected.
“I feel like each teacher that I’ve had at SCCC has left some sort of impact, but Janice Northerns has left the biggest impact just because she has made me a better writer,” Zamora said.
Zamora plans on transferring to Fort Hays State University this upcoming fall where she will major in Elementary education with hopes of shaping the minds of tomorrow’s youth.
Zamora wasn’t the only incoming Freshman who came to SCCC with the intention of graduating in one year.
“Accomplishing my goal of graduating in a year has given me such a sense of accomplishment and it also feels like I have my life put together in a way.” Lizbeth Macias, Applied Science major, said.
Macias looks at her time at SCCC as a chapter in her life that she will cherish. The support given by the students and faculty has left Macias in awe.
“I’ll always remember that no matter what issue or question I had, there was always someone willing to guide me. I always felt the support of my community. I felt that that everybody wanted me to succeed and thanks to them I am,” Macias said.
Macias plans on transferring to Colby Community College where she has interviewed for a spot in their dental hygiene program.
For another future SCCC graduate, the time they spent at Seward has allowed them to grow and take part in opportunities they are thankful for.
“Mr. Perry really guided me through my years at SCCC. He helped me get into the Developing Scholars Program at Kansas State University and for that I am thankful,” Kevin Loya, Biology major, said.
The festivities don’t end after the commencement ceremony. Stick around and enjoy a performance from the Cinco de Mayo dancers who will perform in the outdoor amphitheater adjacent to the courtyard.
To capture your graduation memories, use #ForeverASaint when posting on social media. Good luck to all 2018 graduates!