The semester is finally coming to a close and with it brings the excitement of new horizons for students graduating from Fullerton College. But is the commencement ceremony from community college a worthwhile experience?
Typically, a commencement ceremony is an important milestone for the student. The ceremony is a celebration of individual achievement and also a chance to pause and reflect on a rite of passage.
For some Fullerton College students, the commencement may be the only graduation they have if they choose not to further their education. This is an important celebration for the student’s family and friends who have shown support throughout their educational journey here at FC.
President Rajen Vurdien urges students to participate in commencement.
“Commencement is the culmination of a student’s work at the institution,” Vudien said. “It is a time for the student to celebrate his or her accomplishments as he or she starts the next segment of his or her education or career.”
Vice President of Student Services Toni DuBois thinks each student should decide for him or herself whether or not to participate but she very much values the experience.
“I think the ceremony is important and would hope that students also find it meaningful,” DuBois said. “Varying degrees of effort went in to each and every degree granted from Fullerton College. Some students completed their educational goals in two years and others have taken much longer. I believe people should celebrate their success and share that celebration with their loved ones. That’s the purpose of the commencement ceremony.”
Christie Garcia, a journalism major, is graduating this semester with honors.
“I’m going to the commencement because I’ve been here for almost three years and I might as show that while I was at Fullerton College, I kicked butt,” Garcia said.
“I don’t think students should feel obligated to go sit in the heat for three hours,” Garcia said. “It’s kind of a small step for most people who are transferring to a university, but if it’s something they want to celebrate for themselves or their family, then I think they should do it.”
However, Tom Strekowski, graphic design major, does not think that participating in a community college commencement ceremony is important for himself.
“If getting an associates degree or a certificate is your final goal, then I guess it’s worthy of a ceremony,” Strekowski said. “But if you’re going to community college just to transfer or pick up some skills, then it’s not really worth it. It would be kind of like going from eighth grade to ninth grade.”
Strekowski originally went to Mount San Antonio College and transferred to Cal State Fullerton for a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He did not participate in commencement at Mount SAC and doesn’t plan on participating at Fullerton College when he gets his associates in graphic design.
“My goal was getting a bachelor’s degree, so I didn’t care about going to the ceremony at Mount SAC because I hadn’t achieved my goal yet,” Strekowski said. “Personally, I think a commencement ceremony should be for when you’re done with school.”