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St. Scholastica to celebrate first Arizona graduates at MCC

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The College of St. Scholastica is celebrating a milestone with a graduation celebration for its first class of Arizona students.

The ceremony will be at 5 p.m. tonight, May 15, in the Mesa Community College Theatre, 1833 W. Southern Ave. Fifteen students are candidates to graduate with bachelor of arts degrees from St. Scholastica’s on-ground Arizona-based social work program, and an additional three students are candidates to receive bachelor of science degrees from the college’s online program in health information management.

The ceremony will begin with an academic procession featuring faculty members and graduating students in brightly-colored regalia, followed by an invocation from graduating student Juan Pedroza Reyes. Dr. Michael Marsden, interim vice president for academic affairs, and Marcia Runnberg-Valadez, Arizona site social work program coordinator, will provide welcoming remarks, followed by a graduation celebration address by Dr. Bruce Loppnow, dean of the School of Health Sciences. Graduating student Jacquelyn Goodluck will provide the student address.

The presentation of the social work candidates for graduation will include a social work “pinning” ceremony. Next, the HIM candidates for graduation will be recognized. Lastly, Arizona campus executive director Maria Laughner will provide a benediction.

More than 250 people are expected to attend. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

St. Scholastica was founded in 1912 by Benedictine Sisters in Duluth, Minnesota, and currently has extended campus sites across Minnesota and in Arizona. The college came to Phoenix in 2013, and its first cohort of social work students started taking classes in fall 2015.

St. Scholastica’s bachelor of arts in social work program is designed to meet the needs of working adults. With 570 hours of field experience and a curriculum that emphasizes professional development, the program is ranked well above the national average.

St. Scholastica holds classes at Phoenix College and Mesa Community College, and accepts credits from several Phoenix community colleges to help students complete their social work degrees and achieve their educational goals.

St. Scholastica also operates a Doctor of Nursing Practice program in Arizona. For more information, visit css.edu/arizona.

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