Chancellor Constance M. Carroll delivers a virtual commencement speech to the Class of 2020

Chancellor Constance M. Carroll delivers a virtual commencement speech to the Class of 2020.

A record 12,000 degrees and certificates to be conferred by district

July 16, 2020 | San Diego Community College District

More than 12,000 degrees and certificates are being awarded this year by the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD), a new record. Graduates will be recognized during virtual commencement ceremonies scheduled for July 17 starting with San Diego Mesa College at 10 a.m., San Diego Miramar College at 1 p.m., San Diego Continuing Education at 3 p.m., and San Diego City College at 5 p.m. (links to the virtual commencements will be available before July 14).

Among those graduating

Twenty four Mesa College students are earning bachelor’s degrees in Health Information Management (HIM) through the state’s community college baccalaureate pilot program — a 36% increase over 2019. The HIM graduates are among many from the district who are expected to immediately join the workforce supporting the COVID-19 response. This includes nursing students, first responders, biotech grads, and others in essential areas.

Also among the graduates are 169 San Diego Promise students who are earning associate degrees after completing the district’s signature free-tuition program, one of the largest in the state. The class includes students like City College’s Jerusalen Davila, who says she would not have been able to afford college without the program’s support. Davila earned a 3.9 grade point average and is transferring this fall to UC Berkeley where she will major in sociology.

A record 1,946 students have earned associate degrees for transfer, which guarantees them admission to a California State University campus, especially San Diego State University. This is part of a multi-year trend that has seen more students transferring from City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges to four-year institutions, with prestigious destinations such as UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UCLA among the top choices.

“Students in the Class of 2020 are to be commended for completing their education despite enormous challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which required them to switch to online classes in March. Many students are working and have families to support, which required them to make additional sacrifices in order to earn a degree or certificate, so that they could transfer to a university or embark upon a well-paying career. All of these students reached their goals and all of them have transformed their lives as a result,” said SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll. “Their determination is an inspiration to us all.”

In all, the SDCCD is conferring 4,321 associate degrees and 7,766 certificates of completion — a 2% increase over 2019. Some 1,237 students graduating this year are first-generation college students. The 6,333 certificates awarded by San Diego Continuing Education is up 5% from last year. The 291 high school diplomas being conferred is a 64% increase from last year.

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