Palo Alto College students prepare for upcoming graduation

By Cassie Hernandez
Pulse Staff Reporter

Melody Donel Spring 2015 Graduate Business administration major. Photo by Cassie Hernandez
Melody Donel, Spring 2015 Graduate Business administration major. Photo by Cassie Hernandez

Palo Alto College graduates will take the next leap in their career and educational endeavors thanks to efforts of their own and help from PAC faculty and staff.

Graduation will be held at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at 3 p.m. PAC expects 1,110 graduates this year.

“I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m excited! It’s been a long road of everything, work and internships,” said Chris Sosa, intern for the PAC IT department. “I think one of the biggest things is the tuition. It’s definitely affordable. They do offer classes morning, afternoon and nights, which is extremely flexible, especially for someone working full time.”

Sosa said the tutoring services were great, and he wouldn’t have passed algebra without the help.

“The staff is great. I love going to school here,” he said.

Sosa will attend Texas A&M University-San Antonio in the Fall of 2015 to earn a bachelor’s degree in Network Administration.

Also pleased with her time at PAC, Kimberley Garcia looks forward to the next level of her education.

“It feels great. I am excited to move on with my education,” she said. “My experience was good. I had some amazing professors and many memorable experiences.”

Garcia will transfer to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Overwhelmed to be graduating, Ricardo Venegas is happy to cross the stage this spring.

“I’m honored to be graduating and transferring. It’s an opportunity my parents and grandparents didn’t have,” he said.

Venegas is transferring to Texas A&M University-San Antonio to earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Advising is recommended for each student, no matter how many hours earned, in order to keep students on the right track for a certificate or a degree. Students should meet with their faculty adviser or designated certified adviser to ensure they are ready to graduate.

Aracely Reyes Bowling, certified adviser, said it is important to meet with your adviser at least once a semester to get on the right Individual Success Plan for graduation.

“We also want to establish a relationship with the students. To figure out what will be the best plan for them. We call it an Individual Success Plan,” she said.

“Every student has a different life. Some are full time, some are part time, and some have families. We want to makes sure we are creating a good plan for them.”

Reyes Bowling said advising helps students not waste time on taking course they may not need. This is especially important now that students only have six years of financial aid to complete a bachelor’s degree.

“We just don’t want them to take a course that is not on their degree plan. We don’t want them wasting time. Everyone is trying to finish and graduate,” she said.

Graduation is important, and PAC knows what it takes to get you there.

Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about graduation:

  1. Meet with your adviser for a degree or certificate audit on a regular basis.
  2. Complete a Graduation Application and the online ACES application with your adviser.
  3. Bring your Alamo GPS Audit and graduation application to Admissions & Records, Palomino Center, Room 117.

It’s never too soon to start thinking about graduation. Schedule an appointment with your adviser now!