Carroll Community College
Commencement 2011, No. 54


Brian Holsonbake Inspires Graduates as Commencement Speaker

President’s Column

Christopher Martin Delivers Student Commencement Address

Benjamin Spurrier Receives President's Academic Excellence Award

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Graduates Twenty

Online Tutorial Community Wins National NCIA Award

College Hosts Commit to Completion Fair

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society Chapter Established at Carroll



President’s Column
Dr. Faye Pappalardo

It is with great satisfaction that I share with you how gratifying our Eighteenth Commencement was on the afternoon of May 25, 2011. I was exceedingly proud of our graduates, whom I greeted as they crossed the graduation stage. Commencement was truly a memorable day!

However, Commencement is more than a celebration with caps and gowns, and accolades from families and friends. It is the denouement of years of hard work, dedication, and unfailing commitment to complete a degree.

Today, degree completion is at the forefront of the minds of community college faculty, staff, and students. Many things can be taken away from you in life. But one thing that cannot be taken away is an education. Community colleges are making a concerted effort to share this message with their students.

Let me share an example of the importance of degree completion. I have heard of students who do not complete associate degrees, then go on to four-year colleges with a couple of semesters of courses under their belts. Suddenly, there is an interruption by life events which interfere with attaining bachelor's degrees. Sadly, those students do not finish their four-year degrees, and they also remain with no associate degree.

This is one reason why I feel it is so important to complete the associate degree first before moving forward.

There is a national movement in higher education to encourage students to complete degrees. The 16 Maryland community college presidents recently signed The Call to Action. This is a pledge to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade.

In October, 2010, the first White House Summit on Community Colleges was hosted by Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. She is also a community college professor. President Obama, philanthropist Melinda Gates, and other speakers praised community colleges for serving almost half of the nation's college students.

President Obama has called for community colleges to produce an additional five million graduates in the next 10 years, part of his goal to restore the United States as the world's leader in college graduates.

I urge students to carefully consider finishing their studies at Carroll before moving ahead with their future plans. I believe that the men and women to whom I awarded degrees at our Eighteenth Commencement are pleased they took the time and effort to become degree completers.

Dr. Faye Pappalardo


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