Associate degrees

CVCC Awards 727 Associate Degrees on Graduation Day | Education

The graduates gathered with their families at Catawba Valley Community College as they awaited their time to graduate Friday morning.

The opening ceremonies for the CVCC took place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Due to weather issues, the ceremonies were held inside the Tarlton complex, said Robin Ross, vice president of K64 and talent development.

Graduates signed up for hours throughout the day to receive their diplomas and were joined by friends and family members, Ross said.

The college awarded 727 associate degrees, 55 diplomas and 65 adult high school credentials, Ross said.

At least 30 business and industry partners have set up recruitment kiosks on the Tarlton Complex floor for graduates and their family members seeking employment opportunities, Ross said.

Some of the graduates shared their future plans and the reasons for their career choices.

Sidney Leonard graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. She said she wanted to become a teacher. “My dream is (to teach) second and third graders,” Leonard said. “I think they have a lot of energy and are very creative.”

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Leonard’s favorite class was photography, which she took in the spring 2022 semester, she said. She plans to pursue photography as a hobby, she said.

Bailey Gibbs has earned an Associate of Arts degree and will be graduating from Fred T. Foard High School on May 26. Gibbs was part of a cohort program, which allows high school students to take classes at the CVCC, she said.

“I will be transferring to (Appalachian State University) in the fall to become a speech pathologist,” Gibbs said. “I really want to make a difference and especially for small children with special needs. It’s just a good way to do it to help them find a voice.

Vananh Bui also wants to pursue a career as a speech therapist. She earned an Associate of Arts degree. Bui said her sister had a speech impediment and it inspired her career choice. She had a message for people who are considering going to college.

“Don’t underestimate community college,” Bui said. “It really is the best plan. There is nothing to be ashamed of.”