The term commencement is forefront this time of year as families and friends crowd high school and college graduation ceremonies in celebration of student achievement.
Yet, Merriam-Webster also defines commencement as "the time when something begins." This characterization may be even more relevant to the hundreds of MSTC students graduating this week.
MSTC students come from all walks of life. Some are arriving straight out of high school in search of what they need to start their first career. Other MSTC students are seeking the hands-on skills and real-world experience they need to advance in their current career or start a new one. Regardless of the background, graduation is a symbol of a new beginning.
Bryce is but one example of the many success stories of the more than 400 MSTC students who are graduating this week. He balanced his senior year in high school with his job as a shift manager at a local fast-food restaurant. Bryce longed for a career where he could work outside among nature - a vision that brought him to MSTC.
Like many MSTC students, he juggled work and studies. Two years later, this bright and hardworking student is graduating with an associate degree in urban forestry and has decided to further his education. Bryce is now enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's four-year urban forestry program, having saved a significant amount of money on the first two years of his college education at MSTC.
He shares that MSTC has "changed my life for the better both personally and professionally."
Congratulations to our graduates. Their effort and sacrifice are rewarded with meaningful careers: Last year, a graduate survey confirmed that 88 percent of MSTC graduates were employed within six months of graduation. Yet, the success of last year's graduates is anything but a flash in the pan, as in the four preceding years 84 percent, 85 percent, 86 percent and 85 percent of graduates also were employed within six months of graduation. I am proud of this fact, and that 97 percent of MSTC graduates tell us they were satisfied or very satisfied with their MSTC education. What's more, our communities here in central Wisconsin share in the success of our graduates, as 89 percent of last year's graduates put their skills to work right here in Wisconsin.
If you are thinking about improving your skills for your current career or training for a new career, an investment of a little time may be the key to unlocking your new future. Our employees are available to explore the MSTC programs and certificates that are right for you and help you find ways to overcome your unique challenges. Call MSTC at 888-575-MSTC, visit www.mstc.edu, or stop by the MSTC location nearest you.