Greetings from the College of Southern Nevada!
We are continuing a trend at CSN this year by graduating our largest class ever.
This year’s graduating class will include a record 3,326 students who are receiving 3,578 degrees and certificates, according to preliminary data. Official numbers for the spring 2015 semester will be available once final semester grades are completed.
Those totals have been growing consistently in recent years, which I believe is evidence that our efforts to help students succeed are working.
In addition, 36 percent of our graduates are graduating with honors or high honors.
CSN has made a concerted effort to help students complete their education once enrolled. The college has launched or expanded services such as free, unlimited tutoring, math and writing resources centers on each campus, and dedicated counselors for degree-seeking students.
And we have implemented mandatory orientation, advising and placement testing for many new incoming students, which we believe will enhance student success even more.
This year’s graduating class includes some extraordinary students.
Andrea Wilkerson is a radiation therapy student who plans on working with cancer patients after graduation. She already has her bachelor’s degree in communication, but she felt like she had missed her calling. After volunteering with organizations that worked with terminal patients, she enrolled at CSN. Now on the cusp of a new career, she said she feels “like I’m about to go out there and change the world.”
Our graduating student body president, William McCurdy II, grew up in West Las Vegas, the son of a schoolteacher and a pastor who worked for the local housing authority. McCurdy was a stellar athlete at Palos Verdes High School, but ended up dropping out after fathering a child. Undeterred, McCurdy later came back to school and succeeded through hard work and perseverance. He plans on attending UNLV, and later going to law school.
“CSN set the perfect foundation for me,” McCurdy said.
There are many more stories like Wilkerson’s and McCurdy’s among the 3,000-plus students who are earning degrees and certificates.
It is an honor to be able to celebrate their accomplishments with them.
This column ran online May 29, 2015 in El Tiempo.