More than 600 Mohave Community College students are getting ready for their next big step in life, as they prepare to graduate from Mohave Community College.
The college just announced, 587 students will be awarded degrees and/or certificates in 2019 and that number will go higher because students are still submitting graduation applications, including students who will finish during the summer semester. Of the 587 so far, there are 353 students who will earn associate degrees, while 234 will earn certificates.
Approximately 300 students have confirmed they will be participating in the college commencement ceremony on May 10. It will be the first large event held at the new Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse in Bullhead City.
Many of the associate degree graduates will further their education by transferring their degree to one of MCC’s partner universities, where they will complete their bachelor’s degree.
That’s what the college’s three graduating All Arizona Academic Team members are doing. Since they are on the Academic Team they will also receive free tuition at any public university in Arizona.
The team members are Ashley Maxwell, a Nursing student. Josh Lennen, a Chemistry and Engineering student. And Alex Chadsey, a Liberal Arts student.
Chadsey was also chosen to be the Commencement Student Speaker. After graduation he plans to transfer his associate degree to Northern Arizona University where he will earn his bachelor’s degree. He said he never thought he would be able to afford college, until he called MCC.
“Without MCC, I would not have started my path towards getting a degree, simply because of the price that universities cost,” said Chadsey. “MCC is different because the cost, even if you don’t qualify for financial aid, is about a quarter of the price of some universities, which makes MCC a great asset to the tri-state area.”
Another 2019 honors student with a great story to share is Kayla Crowe. When she was in high school she was told she wasn’t college material. She is now graduating with a college degree in Social and Behavioral Science. She is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, and thanks to what she learned at MCC is already working at Southwest Behavioral and Health Services.
“Classes that I took at MCC, such as abnormal psychology and substance rehabilitation, have helped me be significantly more effective in helping our community members who are struggling or experiencing moments of difficulty,“ said Crowe.
The 234 students earning college certificates are primarily graduating from one of the college Career and Technical Education programs, which focus on teaching students the skills needed to land good paying local jobs.
Many Allied Health programs also offer certificates, indicating to employers that the students have been educated and trained to meet industry-certified skills needed on the job.
“Almost all of the students who graduate from our CTE and Allied Health programs find great careers locally and help improve our communities,” said Interim President Dr. Diana Stithem. “In fact, studies show that our alumni are not only happy with their MCC education, but they also contribute $190 million dollars to our local communities every year.”
The college CTE programs that prepare students for careers that require specific technical skills are Auto Collision Repair, Auto Service Technology, Computer Information Systems, Culinary Arts, and Truck Driving.
MCC Allied Health programs include Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting, EMS-Paramedic, Medical Assisting, Healthcare Information Technician, Registered Nursing, Nursing Assistant, Practical Nursing, and Radiologic Technology.
Culinary Arts student Alexandra “Alex” Clark will be graduating with a college certificate in Baking and Pastry, one week before she graduates from Mohave High School.
“It’s amazing to be able to do this while in high school, I mean it’s been a lot of work, but it’s worth it and I plan to continue on with my culinary education after this,” she said.
Like many high school students, she is earning free college credits through the college’s partnership with WAVE/JTED, which helps students with Career and Technical Education. Many other high school students earn college credits through the dual enrollment program at MCC.
During the college commencement ceremony, one graduating MCC student will be awarded $10,000 cash, to spend however they would like. This student will be second annual recipient of the Kathy Hodel Most Outstanding Student Award. The first recipient was 2018 graduate Ronald Marcks.
This incredible award is established through an endowment gift provided by Dr. James H. Childe to honor the memory of his friend, Kathy Hodel. She passed away in 2018, after a long battle with bone cancer.
Hodel was a longtime booster for the college, serving on the Board of Governors and the MCC Foundation. She is well-known for her selflessness at MCC and throughout Mohave County, especially in Lake Havasu City where she lived. Not only was the MCC Havasu Campus Library named after her, but city named a street in her honor.
The college commencement ceremony begins at 3:00 p.m., May 10, at the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse in Bullhead City.