pandemic ceremony

An Imperial Valley College graduate celebrates her accomplishments during the "carmencement" on June 12.

I mperial Valley College held its second virtual commencement ceremony in as many years on June 12, proving that not even the COVID-19 pandemic can stop students from pursuing their dreams and earning their education.

The "carmencement" included an on-campus vehicle parade.

IVC Superintendent/ President Dr. Martha Garcia opened the ceremony by recognizing the 1,267 graduates for their hard work in earning their degrees under unprecedented circumstances.

"This ceremony signifies that the students have achieved a major milestone in their life. It is a celebration of success, a major moment in life that emphasizes a completion of a challenging journey of intellectual and personal growth" said Garcia.

As a first-generation college graduate, former EOPS student and proud daughter of farmworkers, Garcia told the students that she understands the challenges that many of them endured while aspiring to achieve educational goals and lifelong dreams. Such challenges have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting students with new obstacles to overcome while earning their degree online.

"The class reflects resilience and embodies tremendous commitment," said Garcia. "This is a defining moment for IVC and our world. It is a time for courage and strength."

Such resilience was seen through the large class of 1,267 graduates, many of whom had multiple degrees or certificates. Out of the 3,164 graduation petitions received, 2,142 of them were degrees and 1,022 were certificates.

One graduate was awarded nine degrees this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 1,267 graduates that petitioned for graduation, 300 of them attended the ceremony. The average age of the class was 25 years old, with the oldest graduate being 67 years of age and the youngest being 18 years old.

Women graduates dominated this year's graduation class at 64 percent, with males at 36 percent. "Arriba las mujeres!" said Garcia, as she praised the women in the graduating class.

Other statistics from the class include:

• 40% of the graduates have earned a 3.0 grade-point average (B) or better and graduated with honors;

• 30% of the class graduated with distinction with a 3.5 grade-point average or higher;

• 41 graduated with an Associate in Science degree in Nursing;

• 15 graduated with their Licensed Vocational Nursing degrees;

• 275 participants of the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) program graduated;

• Student Support Services, TRIO Program had 110 graduates this year with nearly half that participated in Commencement;

• The eighth Imperial Valley University Partnership (IVUP) had 44 students who graduated.

"As you can see from these statistics, the class of 2021 are amongst the best and brightest college students from Imperial Valley College" said Garcia, demonstrating that even amongst the difficult challenges COVID-19 posed to students, students were able to navigate through those challenges and proudly earn their degree.

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