WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - As Palm Beach State College students open a new chapter in their lives, they're part of a new beginning for the school. One hundred twenty-two students of the Class of 2011's 1,694 graduates, distinguished by their green caps and gowns, are the first ones to receive their bachelor's degrees at Palm Beach State.
"It was the most exciting feeling ever," said Mixea Blair.
Blair already has a degree in nursing, but she says her new degree will take her where she wants to go.
"When they started to offer this program, I thought it was a good step because I wanted to go into the administrative part of nursing," she explained.
"You may now move your tassel from left to right," Palm Beach State College President Dr. Dennis Gallon told the new graduates.
Palm Beach State College began its first bachelor's program in supervision and management in the fall of 2009. This year, they added a Bachelor of Science in Information Management. Next year, the school will offer a four-year degree in nursing.
"This is just another example as to this institution growing up with the community to be all it can be," said Dr. Gallon. "This community wanted the bachelor's degree to be offered by this institution and we're able to respond to that need."
Each graduate walking across the stage is excited to be part of it.
"The teachers were there and spent time that you couldn't get when you have 400 students in a class at a big university," said Alisha Pichichero, who received her degree today.
"We got the opportunity to shape a lot of the program," added graduate Robert Crazier. "A lot of the feedback they're going to use for the future. So all those things made it a really nice experience."
Dr. Gallon said the school will look at adding more programs in the future, based on what the community and the economy calls for.