The beginning of the fall semester welcomed a new group of fresh-faced students and as it ends, Arizona State University bids farewell to accomplished individuals who have put in the time and hard work to call themselves graduates.
ASU is conferring degrees to approximately 7,800 full-immersion and online students this month. Undergraduate commencement will take place at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus. Graduate commencement will take place at the same location at 1:30 p.m.
ASU’s inclusive culture welcomes a diverse student population year after year, and during graduation season the university hosts ceremonies to recognize their accomplishments, including the International Student Stole Ceremony, Rainbow Convocation, Asian/Asian Pacific-American Convocation, Black African Convocation, Hispanic Convocation and American Indian Convocation.
- Special interest convocations will take place throughout the week at various locations.
- A full schedule of ceremonies will take place starting Saturday, Dec. 8.
This commencement season also saw a record number of ASU Online students receiving degrees. More than 2,400 degrees will be conferred across multiple disciplines. ASU Online has enabled students to study and earn a degree from any place in the world.
Elizabeth Feathers, an undergraduate student from Normal, Illinois, majored in organizational leadership in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts through ASU Online and immediately knew ASU was the place for her.
“My first visit to the Valley was visiting my best friend at ASU our freshman year of college," she said. “I stayed for five days, and I completely fell in love with the campus, the camaraderie and the overall dynamic at the school. I knew then that I wanted to be a Sun Devil.”
For ASU, the end goal is not only ensuring that students succeed through graduation, it's producing learners that are prepared to tackle the workforce and the jobs of the future. ASU's Career and Professional Development Services provides students the tools and resources to get a head start on building work experience while still refining their skills in the classroom.
Students have the ability to take advantage of services such as career advising, resume resources, internship and job search tools and major and career exploration. The office also provides students with opportunities to connect with prospective employers through career fairs and events.
More than 85 percent of undergraduates and nearly 90 percent of graduate students are employed full or part time 90 days after graduation — some graduates have jobs waiting for them before walking across the commencement stage. Sun Devils are also known to work full or part time while concurrently attending classes.
Feathers, who worked full time while taking courses through ASU Online, embodies the ASU culture — she wants to be the change she wants to see in the workplace.
She chose to major in organizational leadership after noticing the difference between high- and low-quality leadership. She knew that she wanted to lead people in the future, and she wanted to be an effective leader, not just a manager. After graduating, she will remain with her current employer and will begin preparing to move toward a leadership position within her organization.
For those students still in college — on campus or online — she encourages students to “keep going."
“I know school is hard and sometimes inconvenient in our busy lives, but there is a light at the end of that very long tunnel,” Feathers said.