Graduates take center stage at commencement

This month, the college community celebrated the achievements of the Class of 2016.

Hundreds of family members, friends, faculty and staff packed Benaroya Hall earlier this month to honor the Class of 2016 graduates during Seattle Central College’s 50th commencement ceremony. The college conferred more than 1,200 degrees, certificates and diplomas to deserving students representing a variety of programs and fields.

“Earning a certificate or degree is an incredible journey for our students. I am proud of the commitment they have shown to their education, and I look forward to seeing their impact on our community as they move beyond their time at Seattle Central,” President Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D., said.

Former student Pwint Htun spoke at the ceremony. A refugee who became a successful telecommunications executive, Pwint is the recipient of Seattle Central College’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award for her work helping to bring basic financial and mobile phone services to the poor and rural areas of her native Myanmar. Read about Pwint’s amazing story here.

Of the awards that Seattle Central conferred this year, 49 were bachelor’s degrees, including the first class of students who graduated with a Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Allied Health. This degree program includes tracks in Respiratory Care, which graduated 15 bachelor’s students, and Dental Hygiene, which graduated 16. These students trained at the innovative new Health Education Center at Pacific Tower that opened earlier this year. The Applied Behavioral Science program graduated 18 bachelor’s students, and this is the sixth year the program has awarded this important credential.

The number of students graduating from Seattle Central with bachelor’s degrees is expected to increase, with more Allied Health students graduating in two additional tracks in Healthcare Services Management and in Community Health and Education, and a new Information Technology Networking degree that is expected to start later this year.

The college also awarded more than 700 associate transfer degrees, which enable students to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Schools to which students transfer include in-state options such as the University of Washington, Seattle University and Western Washington University, as well as out-of-state schools like Columbia University and University of California – Berkeley, among many others.

Another 270 associate degrees and 120 certificates were awarded to students who will enter the workforce immediately, in fields such as healthcare, graphic design, construction, apparel design, information technology and business. Additionally, 73 students received a high school diploma or GED. The oldest student is 67 years-old and the youngest is 18.

Check out the photo gallery of Seattle Central’s 50th commencement ceremony.