Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College will confer more than 2,700 degrees and certificates upon students at virtual graduation ceremonies Friday, June 18.
The entirely-online graduation—a first for Community Colleges of Spokane—will feature pre-recorded addresses from college leadership, a singing of the National Anthem by the SFCC college choir, speeches by Associated Student Government officers and a reading of graduates.
The videos will debut on the CCS YouTube page at 3 p.m. It is about two hours long and includes the names of all graduates.
The decision to move the ceremony that’s typically at the Spokane Arena to a digital format was not an easy one. CCS Chancellor Christine Johnson said that while many understandably prefer the in-person commencement, the district was diligent and careful to follow proper safety protocols, which meant holding graduation remotely.
“We’re incredibly excited and proud of our students who’ve been with us throughout the pandemic to finally get a chance to celebrate their accomplishments,” Johnson said. “We’ll of course miss seeing our students graduate in person, and we look forward to a return to normal when we can commemorate together.”
At SCC, 206 certificates and degrees are awarded to students at the school’s four rural education sites and the SFCC campus in Pullman, and another 267 were conferred through the SCC Adult Basic Education program.
SCC’s main Spokane campus is awarding 523 associate of arts (AA) transfer degrees as well as 233 certificates and degrees in business, hospitality and information technology, 284 certificates and degrees in technical education, and 279 certificates and degrees in health and environmental sciences.
At SCC’s rural sites, Newport center is awarding 58 degrees and certificates, and 148 at Colville, Republic and Inchelium.
“This entire year was historically difficult,” said SCC President Kevin Brockbank, whose college returned to majority in-person classes with extensive Covid-19 safety measures. “But we’re resilient. Our students are resilient. And this day is for them.”
SFCC in Spokane will award approximately 1,200 associate of arts (AA) transfer degrees, associate of applied science (AAS) degrees, and certificates and professional degrees on Friday.
Among the graduates are 175 Running Start students from 30 high schools in the area who are earning both their high school diplomas and college degrees. Also, 50 international students from 12 countries including China, Colombia, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, Oman, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam will earn degrees.
“You made it,” said SFCC President Kimberlee Messina to the 2021 graduating class, a majority of which are still studying online, though that’s likely to change in the fall. “You persevered, you were resilient, you never gave up. Congratulations on your graduation and we wish you the very best in your next chapter.”
Community Colleges of Spokane is a dynamic, 12,300-square-mile state community college district that includes Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College and five rural education sites, serving residents in Pend Oreille, Stevens, Whitman, Ferry and parts of Lincoln counties.