by Alana J. Mauger
With an increase of 38 percent over the last five years, the largest class in Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) history will graduate on May 23, 2013. The increase is a testament to MCCC’s efforts to improve student access, success and completion over the last decade.
A record total of 1,513 students will receive 1,535 associate’s degrees and certificates during the College’s 46th Commencement exercises, which will be held at MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell starting at 7 p.m.
The ceremony will feature a keynote address by Drexel University President John A. Fry, who was selected, in part, to emphasize MCCC’s commitment to developing multiple pathways by which students can attain higher education. Drexel is partner in MCCC’s University Center, offering doctorial and master’s degree programs at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown.
Communications major Hilda Hynes, of Barto, will give the student address. Hynes, a single mother of three, enrolled at MCCC in 2010 following a personal tragedy that saw her and her children move from Florida back to the Montgomery County region. She excelled during her time at the College, working as a peer mentor and serving as the vice president of Phi Theta Kappa.
In addition to setting the largest overall record, the class of 2013 also sets the record for the most e-Learning graduates at 47 and the most West Campus graduates at 292. This year’s class includes 22 veterans, as well as 27 international students from 15 different countries.
By the numbers, the largest majors for the class of 2013 include Liberal Studies (470 graduates); Nursing (155 graduates); Business Administration (132 graduates); Criminal Justice (54 graduates); and Education in the Early Years (52 graduates). In addition, a combined 111 students will graduate from MCCC’s STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) programs, which include Biological and Physical Sciences, Engineering Science, Biotechnology, Electronic Game and Simulation Design, Mathematics, and Computer Science, among the most popular.
In other statistics, the class of 2013 is comprised of 15 Honors Program scholars – the largest graduating cohort to date; 155 Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society inductees; 62 inductees into Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges; and 31 students who earned a GPA of 3.9 or higher.
The average age of the 2013 graduating class is 29, with the youngest student at age 16 and the oldest at age 79.