More than 100 adults from across the Capital Region and beyond were celebrated on Wednesday after they concluded their training to become Licensed Practical Nurses.
The students in the Adult Practical Nursing program completed course work and testing on Tuesday an were celebrated on Wednesday with a “reverse parade” where they drove through the campus, waved to faculty and staff, dropped off Chromebooks and picked up signs and paperwork – all while maintain proper social distancing.
A formal graduation ceremony will be conducted later this summer.
“It’s been a long, tough road, but I did it,” said Teresa Changa, of Cohoes, as she picked up certificates.
The reverse parade was the culmination of a long journey, which started in September for full-time students and 18 months ago for part-time students.
Through classroom and clinical work, the state-approved Adult Practical Nursing Program at the Career & Technical School encompasses 1,100 hours studies that prepares student for careers as licensed practical nurses. The hands-on program was switched to virtual in March with the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic, with faculty and students alike not only learning how to take or teach classes online, but doing so while in the waning months of the school year.
“I’m so happy. I didn’t think I could make it and here I am,” said Kate Asemoah of Albany.
The graduates are entering a workforce with skills and knowledge that is in high demand and many already have jobs or job offers thanks to business partners and a business-education partnership.
For graduate Carson Drake of Ballston Lake, who has spent years jumping from job to job, the conclusion of the program was overwhelming.
“I’ve been searching for what to do with my life and I have finally found it,” he said.