TJC to award school’s first bachelor’s degrees


For the first time in its history, Tyler Junior College will award bachelor’s degrees during fall commencement ceremonies set Friday, Dec. 8, said TJC’s publicity spokesperson Elise Mullinix.

The ceremonies are scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Wagstaff Gym, recognizing 682 candidates for graduation for the Fall, 2016 semester.

In the 10 a.m. ceremony, three graduates will cross the stage and receive TJC’s first Bachelor of Science degrees in dental hygiene: Amanda Camp of Lufkin, Shannon Kassaw of Palestine, and Michelle Trammell of Tyler.

TJC is the first and only community or junior college in Texas authorized to offer a Bachelor of Science degree.

In early 2015, TJC leaders put a plan in motion to pursue legislative approval for the degree. Legislative action was granted in late 2015, after then-State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, and Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, sponsored companion bills in the Texas Legislature to create the program.

“Our entire region is to be commended for its commitment to higher education and for coming together to make this historic day possible,” said Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will recognize graduates in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the School of Professional and Technical Programs.

The 1 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates in the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences and the School of Humanities, Communications and Fine Arts.

TJC President Dr. Mike Metke will confer the degrees and certificates of proficiency and certify the graduates.

Candidates from Mineola and Quitman include:

MINEOLA: Stacey Block, Stacey Castorena, Brandy Hudson, Suraj Patel, Ernesto Rivas, Vanessa Stanley and Zantana Zandate.

QUITMAN: Lauren Gates, Shelby Hayes, Melanie Kornhauser and Llunior Ramos.


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