Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 4:38 pm | Author:
Commencement exercises for the VCSU class of 2007 are shaping up to include a number of special features including the first graduates at the Masters level in the schools history, several graduates who have completed other new programs, and engaging commencement speakers.

14 of the 189 students who qualify to receive diplomas during the exercises will be the first graduates of VCSUs new online Master of Education program. In recognition of this event, the 2007 Commencement will include a Hooding Ceremony in which a piece of academic regalia known as a "hood" is placed over the shoulders of each graduate as a sign of their scholarly and professional achievement. VCSUs online Master of Education program received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and classes were first offered during the Fall semester of 2005.

In addition, six students are graduating with majors in VCSUs new undergraduate degree program in Health Science. First offered in 2004, the program is designed for students wishing to pursue a degree at professional or graduate schools in any of several health science disciplines. All six of VCSUs graduates in Health Science either have been accepted to or plan to attend graduate or professional schools in such fields as Molecular Biosciences, Medicinal Chemistry, Exercise Science, Energy and Environmental Research, Chiropractic and Veterinary.

The class of 2007 will also include the first graduates to receive VCSUs recently approved information technology certificates in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software and Enterprise Applications. The two programs, which were approved by the State Board of Higher Education in November, were specially designed to meet the demanding requirements of rapidly growing segments of the computer industry.

The commencement speaker will be Roger Reierson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Flint Communications, Inc. and a founder, President and Chairman of the Board of AdFarm. As a leading member of the North Dakota Roundtable on Higher Education, he helped forge an alliance between the state and higher education. He was a facilitator for Valley Development Group Roundtable, a local group which used the states report to determine the best path for making VCSU a catalyst for expanding the regions economy. He was recognized by VCSU in 2005 with the VCSUs Distinguished Service Award for his role in creating an environment in which higher education can be the engine for growth in North Dakota.

The exercises will also include three student speakers. Undergraduates will be represented by Matthew Axtman from Crosby, ND, who is graduating with a degree in Biology Education (B.S. Ed) and a degree in Chemistry and Health Science (B.S.), and Stephanie Trautman from Enderlin, ND, who is graduating with a major in Elementary Education (B.S. Ed). Sara Etzel from West Saint Paul, MN, will speak as the first representative of VCSUs new online Master of Education program. She is graduating with a concentration in Technology Education.

Commencement will be held Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 10:00 am in historic Vangstad Auditorium. Seating during the ceremony is by invitation only, however, the public is invited to attend a reception in the Student Center immediately afterwards.