Friday, May 11, 2012

Milestones abound with Class of 2012

(Updated May 16, 2012)

The Daytona State College Class of 2012 has put up a string of impressive numbers and is among the largest in the college’s history.

During the 2011-2012 academic year that began last August, 3,896 students completed their academic programs and were added to the ranks of Daytona State alumni during Monday’s commencement ceremonies. This includes those who completed their degrees and certificates during fall semester 2011, plus 1,940 spring semester graduates and another 418 who will be added by summer’s end.

View more images of Daytona State's Class of 2012
Monday’s commencement at the Ocean Center on the city’s beachside honored 341 bachelor’s degree recipients, bringing the total to 1,026 since Daytona State began offering four-year degrees in 2006. That first degree, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, was offered in response to a statewide analysis, which revealed that Florida has a shortage of bachelor’s degree holders compared with other states. Since then, Daytona State has added five additional bachelor’s degree offerings in Education and another in Engineering Technology. Many of the college’s bachelor’s degree recipients are working parents or have responsibilities that prohibit them from commuting long distances to go to class.  Many went back to school to improve their chances of being promoted to higher positions. Some chose Daytona State to prepare for change in their careers. Others weighed the substantial cost savings they can realize by choosing a Daytona State bachelor’s degree over another institution’s.

This year, 1,649 graduated with honors, 344 with high honors and 86 were inducted into the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, based on their leadership skills, scholarship and community service.

Thirteen Falcons this spring were named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges, and 14 students were inducted into the Daytona State College Hall of Fame, the highest honor that faculty can bestow upon a student.

Since its founding in 1957 as Florida’s first comprehensive community college, Daytona State has awarded nearly 131,000 degrees and certificates.

“Fifty-five years ago, Daytona State College began as a dream of Mrs. Mary Karl and a number of other great community leaders who had the vision and foresight to understand that education was the doorway to new opportunity and prosperity for our communities and the people who call Volusia and Flagler County home,” Eaton said. “Today, the college continues that mission, led, in particular, by the most dedicated faculty I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Daytona State’s Adult Education Commencement Ceremony took place on Tuesday. Student speaker Leonard Owens, who currently is working on his associate of arts degree at Daytona State and ultimately plans to earn his Ph.D., urged the graduates to continue their pursuit of knowledege and skills.

"I thought high school was it when I graduated (from Seabreeze High School in 2004)," he told the new graduates. "I thought I had the world at my fingertips and that all my dreams would come knocking on the door for me. I was wrong."

He echoed the suggestions of President Eaton and District Board of Trustees Chairman Dwight Lewis that the graduates continue their education by enrolling in college credit programs at Daytona State.

View a slide show of this year's commencements.