PIQUA — While the Edison State Community College 45th annual spring commencement ceremony was not in the traditional sense, it is more important than ever to take time to recognize the graduating Class of 2020.
The class of 2020 is the first of its kind at Edison State, uniquely poised to achieve greatness as they have demonstrated resilience, preparedness, and, most of all, perseverance.
“As the events of the spring of 2020 become points of history for these students, their diploma will serve as a reminder of their ability to rise above a crisis and complete their college degree or certificate. This Edison State diploma will forever mark a positive outcome amidst the most challenging of times,” said Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson.
These graduates were asked to upend everything they know about the traditional higher education learning experience and replace it with a not-so-traditional learning experience as they transitioned to an online-only distance-learning environment in just a few short days.
When the stay-at-home order was enacted, graduates said good-bye to classmates and instructors for what may have been the last time they would ever see one another in person, without even knowing. They were also faced with the difficult realization that the last time they were in class would be the last time they listened to their favorite instructor lecture, made small talk with fellow students after class, or stepped foot on campus as a student.
While the graduating Class of 2020’s time may have been cut short in some aspects, they are still entering a whole new world, filled with possibilities. They will move on from this unique time in history, ready to take on whatever challenge comes their way. The opportunities these graduates will be granted because of the hardships they have endured are immeasurable.
“The success of our 2020 graduates is particularly rewarding and uniquely inspiring, given the extreme challenges that they faced in the final semester of their program,” added Larson. “As a result of a global health crisis these students were required to adjust to significant changes in course modalities, timelines, and communication pipelines. They are part of a select group of students who were able to make these adjustments amidst the other social and economic upheavals happening at the same time.”
The faculty and staff of Edison State have similarly overcome challenges through this time and with much disappointment, giving up necessary in-person contact with students only to communicate digitally through email, Blackboard, or conference calls. While it may not seem as rewarding, it is important to know that they can be agile in their response to unlikely scenarios such as these, still making it possible for students to work toward their goals and achieve their dreams.
As the college’s namesake, Thomas Alva Edison once stated, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
If there is anything the Edison State Community College Class of 2020 has proven, it is that they can achieve anything worthwhile, including a college degree in the midst of a pandemic.
Edison State Community College’s Class of 2020•
• 380 graduates earned 421 degrees or certificates;
• 46 percent are career degrees
• 30 percent Associate of Arts or Associate of Science transfer degrees
• 17 percent 1-year certificates
• 7 percent short-term technical certificates
• Ages range from 17 to 67. Median age is 27.
• 43 will graduate with honors (GPA 3.5-3.74), 56 with high honors (GPA 3.75-3.99), and 33 with highest honors (GPA 4.0).
• 66 percent are female, 33 percent male.
• 13 Ohio counties are represented.
• 32 graduates are high school seniors.
• 28 percent of graduates completed at least one developmental course.
• 46 percent transferred credit hours to Edison State.
• 176 students with transfer credit totaled 5,230 hours transferred, averaging 29.7 hours per student.
• Figures represent graduates in academic year 2019-20 as of May 5, 2020.