Great Plains sends grads off with final farewell
Great Plains College capped off another successful year with a graduation ceremony at their Swift Current Campus on May 30.
The college had a total of 120 graduates this year in 13 different disciplines such as Business, Practical Nursing and Welding.
“The college is supposed to be about students, and if it’s going to really be about students, then they should be walking across that graduation stage with a full post-secondary experience,” college president David Keast said after the ceremony.
“That’s what they get, I hope, and we need to see them in the job market next.”
Keast said he feels a combination of pride and a sense of accomplishment every time he watches a graduate receive a certificate or diploma. It’s a feeling many of the college’s graduates share.
“It feels amazing.
It’s something that you’ve looked forward to and dreamed of for a whole year,” graduate Michelle Entz said.
“You feel like jumping up and down rather than walking gracefully up the steps.
“It’s a huge accomplishment.”
Entz, along with her sister, also received the Adult 12 Academic Award for being at the top of her program.
She hopes to use her diploma as a springboard into the healthcare profession. Currently, she’s registered in the college’s nursing program.
“I wanted to further my education,” she said after the ceremony.
“I got into my continuing care system program and I just really enjoyed that job, so I wanted to keep going and get into nursing here.”
Getting a job in their chosen field is the most important thing to the students graduating, and Keast doesn’t dispute that.
However, he does hope that when they leave the experience will have an impact that goes beyond job prospects.
“There’s no question about the power of a college education for linking with employment and helping people find jobs, but beyond that I think it’s also supposed to be about growth and change,” he said.
“The person who walks out the graduation door with a certificate is not quite the same person who walked in a year earlier or two years earlier.”
While this marks the end of the line for most college grads, Keast and his staff already have next year in mind. After spending the last two years at the college, Keast likes what he sees, and hopes they can continue to boost the college’s profile and effectiveness in the future.
“Enrollments are up. Programs are functioning effectively.
“The staff seems to be pulling together, the college is pulling together and all I can say is I’m pleased with the progress that’s being made.” Great Plains College President David Keast helped hand out 120 graduation certificates during graduation ceremonies at the Swift Current Campus on May 30.