Thursday was a big day at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro. Thirty-eight students graduated with a general education degree (GED), and 13 of those students attended their formal graduation ceremony.
Dr. Rick Mason, The Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC), says that people often underestimate GED graduates. In fact, students who receive their GED, unlike high school graduates, have to take an intensive test in order to get their diploma, he added.
The percentage of graduates that hold a bachelor’s degree in Bell County is only 11 percent, according to Mason. It sets the stage for how important every high school graduate and every GED graduate is to the entire area.
The guest speaker for the evening was an inspiration, not only to every GED graduate, but to anyone hoping to succeed in life.
Victoria Paige Cloud is a Middlesboro resident who is currently a math instructor at SKCTC. She is currently working on her fifth college degree. She told an amazing story about how she reached her full potential after receiving her GED.
Cloud was a high school drop out that decided she wanted more out of life and took the less traditional route and got her GED. She didn’t stop there because she is now working on her master’s degree and then her doctorate.
However, on the way down this path she ended up having two kids and a few other set backs, but she never lost hope. Her dream was to eventually teach at Southeast and she did just that. After graduating from the rigorous mathematics program at the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in 2011, she knew nothing could hold her back.
Cloud wanted to be certain that she picked a career that she was passionate about. She wanted a job that she would look forward to coming to everyday. She said that teaching is her calling and she loves every minute of it.
The low high school math scores in the state of Kentucky motivates her more. In the next five years, she sees herself still at SKCTC with her doctorate degree.
Another honored person of the evening was a young man by the name of Jacob Foust. He had the highest test scores in the program.
Patty Burnside, whom is the Director of BCCL, said that people who are interested in getting their GED need to act now. Anyone without a learning disability can earn their degree in approximately six to eight weeks. Anyone with less education than that, the process could take up to two years.
Chase Smith is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted via email at email@example.com.