|Eighteen School of Community Education students will participate in the 2006 walk across campus prior to Commencement.|
However, not all of the 2006 graduates qualify as “traditional students.” Working through Wittenberg’s School of Community Education (SCE), 18 individuals who will shake President Mark H. Erickson’s hand on Saturday in Commencement Hollow have followed more circuitous routes to their diplomas. Their personal stories are sometimes amazing.
“What our adult students consider as ordinary — mastering an intense curriculum, holding a demanding job, managing a household, surviving personal emergencies — most people would consider heroic,” said Paul Parlato, dean of SCE.
Just as there isn’t a “traditional” student in the bunch, there also isn’t a “typical” story. Wittenberg’s 2006 SCE graduates range in age from 24 to 52, they hail from a wide variety of educational and socio-economic backgrounds, and they bring with them a divergent collection of professional ambitions. With a mean gross cumulative grade point average of 3.25, they are all well-positioned for success.
“Each of our graduates has his or her personal story of dreams deferred and then realized,” Parlato said. “Even the majority whose transit through the program has been relatively efficient — typically two or three years after transfer from other schools — are models of commitment and extraordinary multi-tasking.”
Nine of the adult/non-traditional students have attained Latin honors — cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Three have merited departmental honors, and 10 have gained membership in Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national adult honorary.
This group also includes the first two recipients of the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship, a half-tuition award for members of the national community college honorary. Among the group are 10 transfer students from Clark State Community College in Springfield and two from Sinclair Community College in Dayton.
Ten of this year’s graduates are completing the Evening Organizational or Health Care Leadership program, while the others are obtaining degrees in a range of disciplines offered through Wittenberg’s traditional day program — biochemistry, computer science, education, geography, management, physics, East Asian Studies and religion. In addition to the graduates, seven other adult students are completing extensive post-baccalaureate teacher licensure programs.
“Our adult students are a select group and a valuable component of the Wittenberg community,” Parlato said. “Not only do they tend to be outstanding students in their own right, but they provide a diverse perspective that enriches the experience of our younger students and our faculty.”
- Ryan Maurer
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