North Island College launched a virtual graduation ceremony online and is inviting 2020 grads to walk the stage next year. Image supplied

North Island College launches virtual graduation celebration

School invites graduates to walk the stage next year

North Island College (NIC) students graduating this year will be celebrating their achievements a little differently than usual. A virtual grad celebration is being held to mark the achievements of all the NIC students completing their programs.

“Grad is one of our favourite times of year at NIC. It’s a chance to celebrate all the hard work that our students have put in, all they’ve accomplished and to wish them well on the next stage of their journey, whatever that is,” said Kathleen Kuhnert, associate vice president, student services and registrar. “We know the situation this year means we can’t celebrate in our usual way, but that doesn’t diminish their accomplishments or how proud all of us in the NIC community are.”

NIC conducted an online survey of students graduating this year to find out what they’d like to see as an alternative solution.

“We heard back that students did want to celebrate and wanted to make sure they had the chance to celebrate in person, once we are able to,” said Kuhnert.

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The virtual celebration will be held through NIC’s website and social media channels. The website includes video messages from NIC faculty and staff, a message from President John Bowman and Premier John Horgan.

It also includes a list of all the students who have already applied for their credential this year. The list will be updated for the next few months as students wrap up their programs that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website also has interactive social media tools to help grad celebrate, while maintaining physical distancing. Students will be receiving emails to their NIC email accounts with full details on how to take part.

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Grad will also be marked at each NIC campus this week with signage on the campus lawns on the day the ceremony would have been held: June 17 in Port Alberni, June 18 in Campbell River, and June 19 in the Comox Valley.

Along with the virtual celebration this year, NIC 2020 grads are also invited to walk the stage at a future ceremony.

“We know nothing will fully replace the feeling of walking across the stage and accepting your credential while your friends, family and the entire NIC community cheer you on,” said Kuhnert. “We will be reaching out to our grads through their NIC emails as soon as we are able to hold ceremonies again and invite them to participate.”

Students can find more details on this year’s graduation, including how to apply for their credential at https://www.nic.bc.ca/life-at-nic/graduation/.

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