ASU New College reception celebrates hundreds of online grads


Amber Orquiz

For most students, graduation is the mark of a final chapter in their collegiate experience. It’s a time to appreciate the journey, say thank you and farewell to supportive faculty, staff and classmates. But for online students, this is a time to say hello.

In fall 2019, Arizona State University's New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences celebrated hundreds of online graduates. Afterward, they brought this unique group together for a postceremony celebration, providing online grads with the opportunity to meet faculty, staff and online peers for the first time.

At the online reception, Hannah Giffin, a New College student who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in forensic psychology, mentioned that her favorite online classes were taught by Greg Wise. Upon finding out he was in attendance, she couldn't contain her enthusiasm.

“I’m so excited to meet him!” she said.

Giffin and her family, all from New Braunfels, Texas, were thrilled to celebrate this life accomplishment.

“I graduated college! It’s a big deal for my family… It took me 5 years to graduate. I’m Type 1 diabetic, and this is something that would not have been possible without online (classes),” she said.

With more than 300 degrees and certificates available online, ASU provides access and countless possibilities to individuals around the world.

Sabrina Booth, an online graduate with a Master of Science in psychology explained: “I don’t have to worry about traffic every day or, you know, where’s my daughter going to go when I have to go to school?”

It’s a reality that many face. Family responsibilities, inflexible work schedules and health concerns can make it difficult to attend in-person classes. Online degrees provide a flexible and accommodating alternative solution.

Before leaving to continue graduation celebrations, Booth shared one last comment, a common one among her peers: “I’m so thankful for this program.”

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