There’s the North Carolina mom who earned her bachelor’s degree while raising six children and working full time. And there’s the U.S. Army veteran in South Carolina who decided to pursue his psychology degree after serving his country in Iraq.
There’s also the supply chain services operations manager from Texas who sees her MBA in Management as a vital factor in her career advancement. Plus, there’s the single parent who works as a senior project administrator in Georgia and dreams of starting her own business now that she has her Business Administration degree.
And don’t forget the production planner for a North Carolina chemical company who says his master’s degree will “open some new doors of opportunity.”
They are just a handful of the hundreds of Florida Institute of Technology students who will receive their diplomas this weekend after graduating from Florida Tech’s 100% online degree programs, which are powered by University Alliance, a division of Bisk Education.
“Graduation is the result of years of work you put into creating opportunity for yourself,” said Talia Donaldson, the supply chain services operations manager in Houston. “It honors me as a student and allows me to reflect on the fruition of my dreams of taking my education to the next level.”
“It is making my family proud, earning the respect of colleagues and moving beyond any limitations that I or anyone else has ever placed on me,” Donaldson said. “None of this came easy but the courage to put one foot in front of the other despite many adversities is what makes a successful person.”
More than 1,400 degrees will be awarded during the 2014 Fall Commencement ceremonies, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Charles and Ruth Clemente Center on Florida Tech’s main campus in Melbourne, Florida. In addition to the nearly 630 graduates from the university’s online degree programs, there will be more than 300 grads from Florida Tech’s virtual campus and extended studies sites nationwide.
Many of the graduating students, who represent 24 U.S. states and dozens of nations, also will attend the Panther4Life Grad Bash from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12 on the campus’ Crawford Green. The free event includes live music, food and drink, and is sponsored by the Alumni Association.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Bisk Education’s support of Florida Tech’s online programs, which began with the launch of a Master of Science in Systems Management degree.
A decade later, students can choose from among more than 40 programs offered 100% online, including associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as For-Credit Graduate Certificates.
Sam Lea, the chemical company production planner, chose to enroll in the Master of Business Administration in Management degree program.
“The meaning of graduation for me is twofold,” said Lea, who received a 10% savings on graduation tuition rates from Florida Tech in honor of his past military service. “On one hand, it’s a real relief to finally get finished with the program because holding down a job, having a family and taking college courses requires a high level of sacrifice.”
“On the other hand, it’s a true sense of accomplishment because I will have in my hand a document that certifies the dedication and persistence it takes to gain a higher education credential,” he said.
For Donaldson, graduation represents possibility.
“The possibility that whatever I am driven to do can be accomplished,” she said.
For additional details about 2014 Fall Commencement and to watch live webcasts of both ceremonies, visit www.fit.edu/graduation.
To learn more about Florida Tech’s 100% online programs, call 855-300-1469 or visit www.FloridaTechOnline.com.