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A Reason to Celebrate

North Idaho College honors degree, certificate graduates

By Gerry McCray, North Idaho College

NIC graduates toss their caps after a commencement ceremony May 12 at Lee-Kildow Plaza on NIC’s Coeur d’Alene campus. Photo by Kyle Dishaw

Confetti, bagpipes, roses, pinning and cap throwing. These are just a few of the things associated with graduation ceremonies, and in the spring, North Idaho College had an abundance of graduates to celebrate.

NIC hosted five graduation ceremonies in 10 days to celebrate different successes. More than 400 students—now NIC alumni—participated in graduation ceremonies at the Coeur d’Alene campus for the college’s Nursing program, GED certificate program, Basic Patrol Academy and the Radiography Technology program, along with NIC’s Commencement.

NIC’s Radiography Technology program graduated seven students in a pinning ceremony May 3, while the Basic Patrol Academy held a ceremony for 12 graduates May 4.

More than 150 students earned their GED certificates with support from North Idaho College’s Adult Education Center and GED testing centers, and 45 of the graduates attended a graduation ceremony May 4 at Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center. GED test graduates were commended for their perseverance through the test-taking process, which, with tutoring, took graduates anywhere from a few days to a year.

“Education can be scary,” NIC President Nick Swayne said. “Getting involved, taking that step and having the courage to step up and come back to school and start your education journey is incredibly brave.”

NIC also held a graduation celebration for 32 students from the NIC Nursing program in a pinning ceremony May 10 in Boswell Hall. Graduates were praised for their classroom excellence that led to a National Council Licensure Examination pass rate of 97.5 percent, 17 percent higher than the national average.

NIC’s Commencement ceremony was held on May 12, and more than 300 of the 659 associate degree graduates walked across the stage in Christianson Gymnasium.

“In every class I had, I was surrounded by the most kind, dedicated, intelligent people I have ever met,” outgoing ASNIC President Damian Maxwell said. “I realized this is much more than an institution—it’s a community; a place for people from all walks of life to come to better themselves and the people around them.”

A total of 1,388 degrees and certificates were awarded to NIC students throughout the year in anything from art to welding.

NIC’s Workforce Training Center in Post Falls also celebrates a plethora of student success. With more than 4,000 graduates a year, the WTC programs host graduations year-round, including Firefighter 1 Academy, Certified Nursing Assistant, Dental Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician and more.

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