Special to The Collegian

Lorain County Community College will honor 1,405 graduates and 349 University Partnership graduates during its 51st annual commencement ceremony, at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 16 in the LCCC Ewing Activities Center. The keynote speaker will be Sixto Torres, a 2011 Lorain County Early College High School (ECHS) graduate.

When Torres graduated from ECHS, he had a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from Lorain County Community College. He also had a springboard to his future.

At the age of 20, Torres earned a Bachelor of Business from Baldwin Wallace University. Later this year, at the age of 22, he will earn a Global Master’s of Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). The start of it all, he said, was LCCC and Early College (EC).

“Being in EC was like being part of a close-knit family. This family supported me when I was struggling, guided me when I didn’t know what to do, told me what’s right when I was wrong, and gave me opportunities to lead when I wanted to shine,” Torres said.

The theme of this year’s commencement is “inspiration.”

At the spring ceremony,  191 students will receive two degrees, 29 will receive three degrees, 11 will receive four degrees, two students five degrees and one student has earned six degrees.

LCCC’s graduating class will receive two-year associate degrees in arts, applied business, applied science, science, individualized studies and technical studies. One-year technical certificates will also be awarded.

An additional 349 students will be honored for earning bachelor’s and / or master’s degrees from the 12 universities in the LCCC University Partnership program, including 98 graduates from Ashland University, 47 with a Bachelor of Science in education and 51 with a Master of Education; 33 from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology; 57 students with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University and 45 bachelor’s and three master’s degrees from Youngstown State University.

More than 500 LCCC and University Partnership students are expected to participate in the commencement ceremony. They will be recognized individually by name as they cross the stage and receive their diplomas from LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church.

Also this year, 61 students from the eighth class of the ECHS will graduate. This group of students from Lorain County will earn both their high school diploma and their Associate of Arts degree.

Also graduating from LCCC with Associate of Arts degrees are nine Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) students representing seven different school districts. The PSEO program – recently renamed College Credit Plus by the state of Ohio – allows high school students to earn college credits while in high school. In this program, students enroll in courses at LCCC and receive dual credit for high school requirements and college credit.