Pima Medical Institute’s Phoenix campus recently hosted a graduation ceremony for students from its seven certificate and three associate degree programs.
Throughout the pandemic, many graduation ceremonies have been put on hold, moved to a virtual experience, or not held at all. Faculty and staff at the Phoenix campus wanted to recognize their graduates, and they put their heads together to come up with a plan that would make an in-person event possible. The goal was to find a way for students to receive their degrees while still following CDC guidelines and Pima Medical’s safety protocols.
Thanks to a large parking lot at the Phoenix campus, an outdoor graduation ceremony that provided space for family and friends to attend while safely staying physically distant was born. Graduates were dropped off to line up with their respective program and families were able to park and stay safely in their vehicles to watch the event. The campus also provided a livestream of each program graduation for those unable to attend in person.
“Our team worked hard to come up with a way that we could safely provide an environment where our students, their family and friends, and our faculty and staff could celebrate the accomplishment that is graduation,” said Stacey Nottingham, campus director, Pima Medical Institute, Phoenix campus.
“This day was a great example of the tenacity of our faculty and staff as well as the dedication of our students, who despite much uncertainty completed their programs.”
Beginning at 9 a.m. with ceremonies on the hour throughout the day, 274 students were able to walk across the stage and accept their hard-earned degree. Family and friends cheered on the graduates safely from trucks and cars parked drive-in style. The mood was one of celebration. Many students said they were grateful to be able to take part in the day.
“With so many other graduations moving to online, virtual or not at all, I love the fact that I could walk on the stage with the pomp and circumstance,” said Nicole Glashoff, sterile processing technician certificate program graduate. “It was great, the effort and work the campus put into this. We earned it, and it was great to be able to celebrate that.”
Glashoff is already employed and said she has Pima Medical to thank for that.
“We are so proud of all our graduates, and we are thrilled that we could create an environment for them to celebrate safely and be recognized for the hard work they put in,” Nottingham added.
“While we hope we are nearing the end of this pandemic, we know we can offer our students a graduation ceremony either way.”