Commencement Ceremony Held for Chattahoochee Technical College
More than 1,100 students at Chattahoochee Technical College were honored Monday morning in the college’s Fall 2012 Commencement Ceremony. The candidates for graduation included those who had completed their studies for associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit during the summer and fall terms at the college.
“This serves as a great celebration of the accomplishments of our students,” said Chattahoochee Technical College President Dr. Ron Newcomb. “Our goal of seeing students realize their academic potential is recognized today by seeing so many excited graduates accomplish this milestone.”
Approximately 350 of the candidates for graduation took part in the ceremony, which included a moment of silence for the victims and families of those affected by the shooting in Connecticut Dec. 14. Also addressing the graduates, as well as their family, friends and supporters, was Shan Cooper, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and General Manager of the company's Marietta facility. Cooper’s address to the audience offered advice for navigating the road to success, breaking it down into the three R’s – Responsibility, Re-Invention and Resilience.
“Success happens as a result of the choices we make and the lessons we learn along the way,” said Cooper. “Where you are now is a result of the choices you made. Where you will be is a consequence of the choices you are making now and are going to make in the future.”
Among the graduates is George House of Canton, who walked across the stage to receive his associate of applied science in Electronics Technology with a specialization in biomedical instrumentation technology. The former combat medic began at Chattahoochee Tech about 2 years ago with interest in becoming a nurse. However, interest inventory testing showed that he had an aptitude for electronics.
“I learned about the classes in biomedical and realized it would be a good fit,” said House, who has attended classes at the North Metro Campus in Acworth. “It is an area with great potential for growth and careers.”
House said he enjoyed all the classes he took at Chattahoochee Technical College, including an internship that he described as, “incredible.” His experience, which includes working as a work study student in the biomedical technology labs, and the friends he has made have made the graduate sad to leave the college. But he does have high hopes for the future.
Also among those walking across the stage was Jennifer Slayton of Acworth. Slayton began at the college after she was laid off from a position with a residential waste company that had sold out.
“I had a choice,” said Slayton. “I could find another job at a similar company and wait for the same thing to happen or I could go back to school.”
The married mother of two decided to go back to school to study accounting, choosing a field that she had found she enjoyed at her previous job. Since both Slayton and her husband were laid off from their jobs on the same day, she knew paying for college would be a challenge. She said she started with HOPE Grant funds and eventually found out that she qualified for Workforce Investment Act funds.
“I wish I had found out about those funds earlier,” Slayton said. “It would have helped even more.”
Last week Slayton began her new position as an accounting clerk with a construction company. She hopes to make it her career and move up the ladder with more experience.
Also grateful for the financial aid options available through HOPE and Pell grants were Zandra Lucier and Angie Jefferson of both of Cobb County. The two said without the help from HOPE Scholarship funds that college would not have been possible. The two have spent the last two years studying for their associate degrees in information security. But both have also said they plan to return to Chattahoochee Technical College in January to begin work on general education classes in hopes of earning higher degrees later. Their classmate Gina Tiberio of Cherokee County is hoping to find a job with her degree. Tiberio was one of the 43 graduates at Chattahoochee Technical College to complete her studies with a 4.0 grade point average.
More education and a job search are also on the schedule for Patricia Adams of Jasper. Adams graduated Monday with a diploma in Medical Assisting. She wants to expand her skills to become sonographer in the future.
“I’ve always been interested in the medical field,” said Adams. “This diploma will give me the foundation to build on for a career in healthcare.”
Chattahoochee Technical College students earn associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit for their work at the college. Popular programs for the graduates this term include accounting, nursing and business administrative technology for the associate of applied science degrees. This is the second graduating class of nursing students to earn associate of science degrees to become registered nurses. Top diploma programs this term include cosmetology, accounting and business administrative technology. The majority of students earning technical certificates of credit studied accounting, healthcare assistant and healthcare science.
Chattahoochee Technical College was recently named to the list of the Top 100 certificate-producing institutions in the United States by Community College Week magazine. Ranking 16 out of the top 100, Georgia’s largest technical college is one of five Georgia colleges to rank in the top 20.
To be eligible to graduate with a certificate, diploma or degree from Chattahoochee Technical College, a student must satisfactorily complete the program of study in which he/she is enrolled with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. All students must have completed a high school diploma or GED certificate before graduating from Chattahoochee Technical College. A student’s academic record is evaluated by the Registrar for any and all credentials earned to determine if graduation requirements have been met after final grades are submitted.
For more information on Chattahoochee Technical College, visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu or call 770-528-4545.