Chattahoochee Technical College honored 546 students from the state’s largest technical college during a commencement ceremony held Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville. Representing students from the fall semester, 197 graduates from the college’s six-county service area walked across the stage to receive a technical certificate of credit, diploma or an Associate of Applied Science degree.
Chattahoochee Technical College President Dr. Ron Newcomb commended all of the graduating students for their perseverance.
“Each of you has a personal story that is captivating,” said Dr. Newcomb. “The common thread in each of your stories is your perseverance – your personal decision and your personal commitment that you’re going to do this. You’ve balanced many things along the way. Many of you have jobs and many of you have families. Among you candidates for graduation, I know that a great many of you are parents yourselves.”
Dr. Newcomb then asked that the graduating students who are parents to stand for special recognition from all those in attendance at the graduation ceremony.
“They persevered for their lives and for their families’ lives and their future, and I really respect that,” said Dr. Newcomb.
The most popular area of study for graduates was Health Sciences. This was followed by programs in the area of business, including Accounting, Business Technology, Business Management, Marketing Management and programs in the field of public and professional services, including Cosmetology, Criminal Justice Technology and Early Childhood Care and Education.
There were 18 students who graduated with certificates, diplomas and degrees toward nontraditional careers. A nontraditional career is any occupation in which women or men make up 25 percent or less of the total employment. For males, the programs included Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiography Technology and Accounting; for females, this included programs such as CIST Cybersecurity, Criminal Justice Technology, Design and Media Production Technology, Computer Programming and Drafting Technology. Students in attendance wore green honor cords in recognition of their completion of such programs.
In addition, 28 students completed an Associate of Applied Science or diploma program with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and those in attendance wore gold honor cords to signify their accomplishment. Also participating in the graduation ceremony were nine students who are U.S. veterans.
Delivering the commencement address at the Chattahoochee Tech graduation ceremony was Katherine Hamilton, the college’s 2017 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner. Hamilton, who graduated with an associate degree in the Physical Therapist Assistant program, reiterated the importance of perseverance for achieving success.
“So many of you have faced difficulties in your life, and your incredible perseverance has brought you down a path to this moment,” said Hamilton, who thanked her teachers and classmates for their ongoing encouragement.
“You have all worked hard and earned the opportunity to savor this moment,” said Hamilton. “So take a moment to look up and enjoy the view. Congratulations, Class of 2017.”
Dillon Egeland of Cherokee County graduated with an associate degree in Radiography Technology.
“I plan to get a job at Northside Hospital. I’ve worked there for four years already and I just took my licensing exam. They’re just waiting for that, and I’ll get started in January.”
Amanda Campbell of Paulding County graduated with an associate degree in Design and Media Production Technology.
“My Mom actually graduated from here in Cosmetology, and my sister is here for Medical Assisting. I’m the youngest, and I was here in dual enrollment in high school. I went to South Paulding High School.”
Ashley Franklin Arnold of Pickens County graduated with an associate degree in Cybersecurity.
“I was an Information Technology Specialist in the Army, so it was something I already kind of knew a little something about. I decided to learn more and go for an associate degree. I hope to get a job in Cybersecurity.”
Chauncey Jordan of Cobb County graduated with an associate degree in the CIST Networking Specialist program.
“I’m a parent and have kids, grandkids and a full-time job. I was able to take classes in the evening and it had the flexibility I needed.”
Angelica Navarro of Cherokee County graduated with an associate degree in Health Care Management.
“The professors are really nice. They help you understand everything. That’s one of my favorite things about being at this school.”
Jamie Stephens of Fulton County graduated with an associate degree in Nursing.
“Chattahoochee Tech worked very well for me. I’m a mother of four, so you can imagine the crazy schedule. Chattahoochee Tech offered me so many opportunities to be flexible with my schedule. I started the prereqs with Chattahoochee Tech and just kept going. It’s been a great program.”
Razak Ennin of Cobb County graduated with a diploma in the CIST Networking Specialist program.
“I am currently working in a networking company, so I’m looking forward to grow from my position as a cable technician to a networking position.”
Alexandria Sanders of Bartow County graduated with a Criminal Justice Specialist certificate.
“I have an interview this afternoon. I want to work as a Victim’s Advocate.”