Bainbridge State College students who successfully completed Learning Support classes were treated to a Ticket to Success ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 25, marking for them an accomplishment that will lead them toward a college degree or diploma.
Wesley Whitehead, Bainbridge State’s director of Learning Support, said this inaugural event could build better success for these students.
“So many of our students test into Learning Support when they apply to the College. They feel overwhelmed at the idea of taking extra courses to prepare them for credit-level coursework. They feel as if they are already behind when they begin college,” Whitehead said. “We hope the Ticket to Success event will motivate and encourage students to not give up on their educational goals.”
Patricia Clark of Colquitt, the student speaker at the ceremony, said she was a prime example.
Retired after working 30 years with the Miller County school system and raising two daughters as a single parent, Clark said she enrolled in Bainbridge State partially because of what she observed from her mother, who only had a third-grade education and would wait for the mail carrier to deliver the mail. If there appeared to be any “important” piece, she asked the mail carrier to read it to her.
“That lit a fire in me that still burns until this day,” Clark said.
However, Clark said when she attempted math, “I always seemed to get five when adding two plus two.”
Clark told the 16 students plus members of their families or friends who attended the ceremony at the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center that she had the pleasure and privilege to be inspired and taught by real people. “People who cared, who shared and who laughed as we learned,” she said.
“I, along with the other honorees, say thank you for your support and your caring spirits that have been instrumental in keeping us from falling,” said Clark, who plans to graduate this May with an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice.
Kathleen Ketterer, dean of the School of Health Sciences & Professional Studies, said the Ticket to Success event was a joint effort between the School of Health Sciences & Professional and the Learning Support Division.
“We wanted to be part of our students’ journeys and help them celebrate one of the many successes that we hope they will experience throughout their lives,” Ketterer said.
Whitehead said during the past year, Bainbridge State redesigned the Learning Support courses in English, reading and math by offering co-requisite classes that paired a Learning Support course with a credit-level course. The College also combined Learning Support English and reading into a course it calls Disciplinary Literary.
“Our students were very successful with these new offerings,” Whitehead said. “There were 140 students who completed their Learning Support requirements during fall 2013. We decided these students should be recognized for completing this particular portion of their education.”
Seventeen students said they had wanted to be recognized at the Ticket to Success event, but were unable to attend. All the students who wanted to be recognized, listed by city, are the following:
Attapulgus: Curtrica Harris and Chianta Harrison.
Bainbridge: Judy Barber, Alexa Griffin, Mary Guion, Reid Heard, Cosandra Love, Keyerra Salter and Kylie Swicord.
Blakely: Kendrick Anthony, Mary Reynolds, Dontracious Smith, Melissa Sol, Sandra Tedder, Kristie Webb and Amber Wimberly.
Cairo: Jennifer Cano, Roselyn Griffin and Raven Mayo.
Camilla: Kyle Howell.
Climax: Gary Davis.
Colquitt: Patricia Clark and Krystal Stovall.
Damascus: Jasmine Cooper.
Donalsonville: Teresa Phillips, Pamela Reichert and Johnathan Snow.
Edison: Mariah Cooper and Tracy Powell.
Fort Gaines: Schareeka Lawrence and Connie Tanner.
Jakin: DezaRay Avery.
Thomasville: Zitivia Anderson.