NORWALK – Cerritos College honored its graduates during its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 19. More than 3,000 students received degrees and certificates, making the Class of 2017 the largest graduating class in the 60-year-old campus’ history – a 20 percent increase from 2016.
The College also saw a drastic 36% uptick in awards to students who earned an Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) from 2016 to 2017 with 908 degrees awarded. The AA-T/AS-T degree guarantees admission for eligible students to transfer to the California State University system. The College currently has 27 AA-T/AS-T degree programs.
“This is a very proud and important moment for Cerritos College. Having the privilege to witness – the largest graduating class in the history of the institution – is an incredible honor,” said Dr. Jose Fierro, Cerritos College President/Superintendent.
“I am so proud of our students for their ability to stay laser focused and committed to earning a degree or certificate. The success of our students is a testament to a campus wide effort of support, and the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff who undoubtedly helped our students succeed. I am so proud.”
Students will be transitioning to some of the nation’s top colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of La Verne, Loyola Marymount University, USC, UC Berkeley, UCLA, among other notable schools.
Additionally, 92 percent of students in the College’s Scholars’ Honors Program were admitted to UCLA this year, a 20 percent increase from 2016.
For Scholars’ Honors Program graduate Maricela Ramos, hard work and dedication to succeed paid off. The single mother of five enrolled at Cerritos College in 2009, 23 years after she graduated from high school, to better her life with education.
Despite many obstacles during her eight years at Cerritos College, Maricela persevered, and is transferring to either UCLA or USC with highest honors. Maricela would like to teach English as a second language in different countries.
“Scholars’ Honors Program helped me prepare academically. I’d like to give back by passing on knowledge to students,” she said.
Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, served as the commencement speaker.