Tyler Junior College kicked off celebrations of its 2021 spring graduates with a “Victory Lap” through the TJC main campus on Friday.
Students’ vehicles were festively decorated in TJC black and gold, and many displayed creative signs and played celebratory music as they made their way through campus. Faculty, staff, family, and friends cheered the graduates from the sidewalks along the route. The Victory Lap was first held in 2020 when COVID-19 forced graduation ceremonies to be limited, and due to its popularity, the Victory Lap has become part of TJC graduation traditions.
TJC will award 1401 degrees and certificates to 1207 graduates for the spring 2021 semester. Candidates for graduation will be recognized during 10 small commencement ceremonies to be held Monday and Tuesday, May 10 and 11, in Wagstaff Gymnasium.
Commencement ceremonies will recognize candidates from School of Engineering, Mathematics & Sciences; Early College High School; School of Humanities, Communications & Fine Arts; School of Professional & Technical Programs; and School of Nursing & Health Sciences.
TJC President and CEO Dr. Juan E. Mejia will confer the degrees and certificates of proficiency and certify the graduates, who will be recognized in front of a small group including members of the Board of Trustees, administrators, professors and family members. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ceremonies are not open to the general public, and face coverings and physical distancing will be observed.
Among the graduates are 30 students receiving baccalaureate degrees, including 21 in the Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in healthcare technology and medical systems (HTMS). The HTMS program, which began in January 2019, was created for working professionals who wish to advance into a higher level of management in the healthcare industry. Nine graduates will receive their Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, the first bachelor’s degree offered by TJC, beginning in 2016. TJC is one of the few community colleges in the state of Texas authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees and was the first to offer a Bachelor of Science.
Ruby Edwards, a medical office management major, was awarded “Most Spirit” in the TJC Victory Lap graduation drive-through.
Several area high school students will celebrate receiving their associate degree along with their high school diplomas. Chapel Hill Early College High School will have 19 graduates, and Tyler ISD will have 78. Chapel Hill Collegiate began in fall 2014, and Tyler ISD began its Early College program in 2015.
Dual credit students from Grand Saline High School will have 12 graduates earning TJC degrees.
TJC is also celebrating the graduation of four students in the TJC & UT Tyler Associate Degree Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ADN/BSN) concurrent enrollment program.