Congratulations Saddleback College Graduates!

Today, Saddleback College recognized graduates and certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony. The graduates became Saddleback alumni in front of hundreds of adoring family, friends, and faculty. Before the degrees were conferred, commencement Speaker and California Community Colleges Chancellor, Dr. Jack Scott, imparted words of wisdom to the group, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent.  The Commencement Student Speaker Janis Alexa Smith shared her story of struggles and triumph and earned her degree in front of her children and grandchildren.

For more pictures and a great article, check out the story that the Orange County Register did about commencement!

Of the students who graduated from Saddleback College this year, 301 received honors, including 28 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 95 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 178 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average).  Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate, Alex Cole, is 16 years of age, and the most senior graduate, Helen Ngo, just celebrated her 80th birthday!  Fifty-six graduates are younger than 20 and 22 graduates are over the age of 55.

Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Science degrees and certificates of achievement.  More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to continue studying for their baccalaureate degrees.  This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among others.

Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates.  I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals.  Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees David B. Lang, Frank M. Meldau, Ph.D., Marcia Milchiker, and T.J. Prendergast, III, and Chancellor Gary L. Poertner. During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to the two retiring faculty members who will be elevated to Professor Emeritus status and to Professors of the Year.

 

President Presents Annual State of the College and Highlights Automotive Technology Program

Saddleback College President Dr. Burnett presented the Annual State of the College at a campus community breakfast held on Friday, September 23rd attended by several dozen elected officials, business and industry representatives, and other community leaders. This year’s report was titled “Being the First Choice” and focused on the college’s vision for being the first choice of students seeking a dynamic, innovative, and student-centered postsecondary education.

In his presentation, Dr. Burnett stated, “Student success is a top priority for our state and nation, and that is what Saddleback is all about. To be the first choice of students, we not only must continue our large number of degree, certificate, and transfer completions each year, but we must significantly expand these numbers in order to meet projected workforce demands. I am confident that with our quality faculty and exceptional programs we can meet this challenge.”

The breakfast also featured a presentation from Professor Cliff Meyer on the college’s renowned Automotive Technology program that is designed to prepare students for employment as automotive technicians. Students can complete their Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degree and transfer to a four-year college or university. Students can also earn certificates in Automotive Chassis Specialist, Automotive Engine Service Specialist, Automotive Engine performance Specialist, General Automotive Technician, and, soon, Alternative Propulsion. About 425 students are enrolled in the Automotive Technology program each semester and the program has been very successful in helping students find well-paying careers.

The president’s Annual State of the College provides an overview of the past academic year and a preview of the coming year’s opportunities and challenges for Saddleback College.  A full copy of the report can be found on the college website or click here to download a PDF of the full report.

Saddleback Now a Member of the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium

Clifford Meyer and Raj Dhillon

Saddleback College is the most recent member of the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium (SCRTTC), a nonprofit dedicated to providing a training resource network focused on employment in the transit industry. The consortium is made up of 31 transportation agencies, community colleges, and universities.

Clifford G. Meyer, Department Chair of the Automotive Technology Program, vigorously pursued this partnership with the organization, which provides training for instructors as well as a gateway for students to find jobs in the industry.

The Automotive Technology Program provides students the opportunity to earn certificates in four specialties: Automotive Chassis Specialist, Automotive Engine Service Specialist, Automotive Engine Performance Specialist, and General Automotive Technician. Instructors will now be able to work with industry partners to keep these programs up-to-date and to keep adding new programs, as the demand for transit workers increases.

For more information on SC’s Automotive Technology programs, visit www.saddleback.edu/atas/automotive_technology. For further information about the SCRTTC, visit www.scrttc.com.