Pasadena City College’s Noncredit Division Adult High School Luncheon last week saw 243 students–the largest class in the program’s history–receive their high school equivalency certificates.

“Our non-credit program is the strongest it’s been in a decade,” said Interim President Robert Miller as he took the podium to begin the ceremony. “These students would not be here without you,” he added, thanking the family, friends, and loved ones of the graduating class who were seated before him.

The Noncredit Division has been helping adults earn their high school diplomas or GEDs for 28 years by offering courses at the Community Education Center (CEC).

“I was inspired to show my two children what I could do,” said graduate Laura Terrones. “I am really looking forward to a career in nursing.”

The Noncredit Division comprises 16 major program areas in the following categories: ESL/ABE and civics education, adult basic education, short-term career and technical education programs (apparel skills, apprenticeship preparation program, business office systems, career planning and student development program, entrepreneur success program, high school diploma program, GED, parent education/seniors and disabled adults, and printing technology), as well as a foster and kinship care program. Most noncredit programs are open-entry, open-exit programs that are offered year round, according to their press release.

“This graduation is special because many of these adult learners overcame many obstacles to complete their high school education,” said CEC counselor Blanca Hernandez Henderson. “Many of them will continue to pursue college degrees and certificate programs at the PCC Main Campus.”

The keynote speaker, Rozanne Adanto, a graduate of PCC and the current director of the Villa Parke Community Center, added some inspiring words.

“There is more to scholarship than getting an A,” she said.

An outstanding member of a community must possess four crucial characteristics. One must be committed to scholarship, leadership, character, and community service, she said.

The ceremony paused to bid farewell to a committed instructor named Enrique Medina. Medina, who had been with the program since 1997, offered some parting words.

“My father had a saying,” he said. “Don’t tell me, show me.”

The program would not be where it is today without committed faculty and staff.

“The faculty has been the best mentors and counselors,” said graduate Maria Juarez. “And sometimes just a shoulder to cry on.”

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