Last Saturday, 22 students from the University of Redlands School of Continuing Studies participated in an inaugural certificate graduation ceremony to mark their completion of one of the department’s eight professional certificate programs—ranging from accounting to project management.
While the School of Continuing Studies was founded in 2010, when the new associate dean of the School of Continuing Studies, Dan Otter, arrived on campus this spring, he wondered why the school hadn’t held a graduation ceremony before: “More importantly, why don’t we?” he asked.
The idea came to fruition on Saturday, as students along with families and friends gathered to celebrate. “These students work hard to take undergraduate courses, while usually working full-time, and we wanted do something to honor their achievement,” said Bridgett Gloudeman, enrollment coordinator for the School of Continuing Studies.
During the ceremony, student Eileen Samaylo spoke about how she has already benefitted from earning her certificate. After being laid off after a nine-year tenure at an aerospace company, Samaylo decided to enroll in the project management certificate program.
“After finishing the course, I had multiple job interviews, during which the interviewers would ask if there was anything else I’d like to tell them about myself,” said Samaylo. “Each interviewer was impressed by my certificate, and earning it ultimately led to three job offers at the same time.”
At the ceremony, Lee Fenstermaker, an instructor of Human Resources classes in the School of Continuing Studies, offered students encouragement and advice: “When I think about the diverse student-base of my classes, I think about the military veterans, single mothers, young professionals with limited career experience, and those reevaluating career choices. I hope you find work that you love and are passionate about.”
After the graduating students’ names were announced, Associate Dean of the School of Business Keith Roberts led the crowd in chanting the Och Tamale, officially recognizing the certificate earners as U of R alumni.