BC students prepare to graduate

Amber Troupe
May 6, 2009
Filed under News

This spring, numerous students will be graduating with their Associate of Arts degree from Bakersfield College on May 15.

Students were in charge and the initiators of their graduation process except for the actual ceremony, proceedings and application process. They do have to come to the counselors and say that they have enough credits and meet the requirements posted by BC.

Sandra Sierra, the department chair of counseling, said that the counseling department only handles the preliminary checks. Students would have to go to Admissions and Records.

“Students just bring the graduation application, and we go through it with them to check to see if they meet the requirements, like required credits and grades,” Sierra said.

Sue Vaughn, director of enrollment services at BC, said that students could choose to participate in the ceremony or just get their degree. There is only one ceremony given per fiscal year, so that means that everyone who graduated during the summer, spring and fall months are able to attend the commencement.

“We sent out a letter around April 1 to tell students exactly what they need to do for things like caps and gowns. The packet also includes final details for ceremony,” Vaughn said.

Students who qualify for awards and honors will wear gold tassels instead of the traditional black and white and gold stoles. Students can either purchase caps and gowns for $45 or borrow them for a $20 deposit that will be refunded if the gowns and caps or brought back before the two-week expiration date.

The ceremony will be preceded by an honor brunch hosted by the Bakersfield College Foundation at 10 a.m. on May 15 for the honorees. The graduation ceremony will take place at 7 p.m., with students receiving their diplomas from BC President Greg Chamberlain. There will not be a practice for the commencement.

Students have the choice of whether they want to have their pictures taken with the president as they graduate, or have portraits taken on Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the bookstore. Students spoke about their experiences during their time at BC and what they were going to do after they graduate.

Clay Davis is a 20-year-old physical education and kinesiology graduate who has been attending BC since he graduated from high school. “The environment was more mature and helped you prepare for life because you have to get up and come to class,” Davis said. “They don’t make you do that like at high school. But BC is still like a high school that smokes in some ways.”

Davis is going to attend Cal State-Bakersfield after BC, and he is joining the Apple Grant Program to become a teacher.

Davis said, “I want to teach either high school or junior high once I graduate from Cal State.”

Other students had different opinions and views about how they felt about BC as an overall experience.

Brandon Reeves, 22, formerly a communication major and now a business major, said that the learning process is great, and overall, he liked the environment except for the occasional construction during class.

“The people here are OK, and the instructors are educated in their field and craft and efficiently teach the subjects,” Reeves said.

After BC, Reeves is going to attend Cal State-Bakersfield but is going to try to get as many lower-division classes at BC as he can due to the lower tuition costs before attending the business program Cal State Bakersfield offers. Reeves talked about his major goals after school in general.

“I want to be a business mogul that is capable of communicating on an effective level for people to understand and to have a career that I can comfortably support myself and my family,” Reeves said.

He encouraged students to join the Communication Department at BC because almost every future employer looks for communication skills.

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