A record-setting day

Los Medanos College held its 39th annual commencement ceremony at the college’s football stadium on May 24. A total of 303 students walked, up from last year’s number of 242 students and 260 in 2011. This year’s increase to 303 students represents the largest student participation to date for Los Medanos College.

“The implementation of State mandated legislation around new limits on repeatability and the changes to LMC’s General Education requirements have combined focused students to work towards completing degrees and certificates,” said LMC Vice President Kevin Horan. “We expect the number of students completing degrees and certificates to continue to increase.”

The increase in the number of graduates can be attributed to the hard work the college has been doing in recent years to develop new ways to help support and enhance student success in an effort to help students reach their educational goals of a degree, certificate, or transfer to a four-year university. Some of these programs include the development of the Summer Bridge Program last year, a four-week academy which focused on career, academic, and social success, as well as the formation of the Transfer Academy in 2011; which helps aide, guide, and accelerate students in their transfers to four-year universities. In addition, new student orientation and accelerated models in the Math and English curriculum were further developed and enhanced.

“I always find commencement exercises extremely gratifying,” said LMC President Bob Kratochvil. “There are many occasions to celebrate students’ successes, but graduation is particularly wonderful because the students, faculty, staff, and family members are all present together to acknowledge and extend best wishes to the graduates.”

According to District Director of Communications Tim Leong, results are not just limited to Los Medanos College.

“We have heard from the colleges that the spring graduation ceremonies were some of the busiest in recent memory,” said Leong. “When our summer 2013 completions are confirmed, we expect to reach over 4,800 student completions, or students who received a certificate or a degree during 2012-13. From a district wide perspective, we are seeing our focus on student completion beginning to pay off.”

This is also the second year in a row that LMC has awarded Associate Degrees of Transfers (ADT), which are specifically designed degrees that provide students with a clearer and easier pathway or transfer from a community college to a California State University (CSU) campus. In addition, students with an ADT are guaranteed admission with junior standing to a college located within the CSU system, as well as priority admission consideration to their respective local CSU campus. While LMC currently offers eight ADTs, (in addition to 32 Associate Degrees) the current plan for the school is to offer a total of 18 ADTs, which will be submitted to the state for approval in June 2014.

Many have also expressed belief that the trend of students receiving certificates and degrees will continue to increase in the upcoming years.

“We believe we can take advantage of the opportunity to grow steadily over the next few years,” said Leong. “After four years of workload reductions, there are still students in our community who do not realize that after the passage of Proposition 30, we have begun restoring course sections and student services. Our welcome sign is out and we look forward to helping students complete their educational goals with us.”

Mr. Kratochvil, while sharing the same hope that the upward trend will continue in the coming years, briefly touched on the significance and importance of students graduating and reaching their educational goals.

“Graduation is also a time to be thankful to all the people who helped along the way, and recognizing family members, partners, friends, and faculty, staff, and administrators at LMC for that support is very heartwarming.”

Additional information can be found at http://www.losmedanos.edu/news/grad2013.asp.