Distinguished grads get head start

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Pam Frias, public relations administrative assistant, takes a picture of a group of graduates backstage before the 2016 commencement. File

Pam Frias, public relations administrative assistant, takes a picture of a group of graduates backstage before the 2016 commencement. File

Application period opens this month, and students can apply online.

By Rachel Cooper

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Students who are eligible for graduation in December or May can apply to be the distinguished graduate for their program.

The application opens today, and the deadline is Jan. 27.

This year the application will be available online, and once students complete the application, they must turn it in to their academic department, said Lauren Sjulin, coordinator of student success.

Graduates of this college and Travis Early College High School walk to their seats during the procession for the 2016 commencement Saturday at Freeman Coliseum. File

Graduates of this college and Travis Early College High School walk to their seats during the procession for the 2016 commencement Saturday at Freeman Coliseum. File

In the past, forms have been submitted to the office of outreach and recruitment, Sjulin said.

Last year students could apply around the middle of November, Sjulin said.

“We moved it up a little,” she said.

The deadline was changed so students can apply earlier.

“We try to make sure everyone is included for that calendar year,” Sjulin said.

Students who will graduate in December, spring 2017 or next summer can apply to be a distinguished graduate in May.

There is no graduation ceremony for the December graduates, so they are invited to the May graduation.

“They have a good chunk of time to apply,” she said of all candidates.

A student must have a minimum 3.2 GPA to apply.

The application requires a personal biography and essay explaining their experience at this college and how their major influenced or inspired their path to graduation, Sjulin said.

The department’s chair and faculty select the distinguished graduate after reviewing the applications.

Programs will receive a plaque to display with the student’s name and graduation year.

About 70 students applied last year, and 38 were chosen, Sjulin said.

The distinguished graduates will help with Graduation Push Week right before spring break, Sjulin said.

Graduation Push Week lets students know they should talk to advisers, tally their hours and find out if they’re eligible for graduation, Sjulin said.

A lot of students don’t realize they need an application for graduation or they don’t know if they’re eligible for graduation, she said.

“We want them to bring graduation awareness to other SAC students,” she said.

Distinguished graduates will get a certificate and a purple cord to wear on graduation day, Sjulin said.

Students will be notified if they were selected in February.

“It’s a big honor; it’s definitely something that would stand out on a résumé, to be selected by the department,” Sjulin said.

The application is available at www.alamo.edu/sac/distinguished-graduates/.

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