From West Hills College

Over 600 students became college graduates on Friday night as part of West Hills College Coalinga’s 2016 commencement ceremony. The graduating class included 350 students who earned their associate’s degree and over 270 career and technical certificate recipients.

More than 200 students participated in the graduation ceremony, which featured comments from WHCC President Dr. Carole Goldsmith, a speech from this year’s Alumnus of the Year and student speaker Clarissa Caposino.

Goldsmith congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to continue working toward success.

“You can do anything once you put your mind and actions toward it,” she said. “We want you to be relentless in your pursuit of success but also help others along the way as you have been helped.”

WHCC Alumnus of the Year Tracey Jaurena, formerly WHCC’s athletic trainer and faculty member and a graduate of the class of 1982, was recognized during the ceremony.

Clarissa Caposino, Associated Student Body President and one of the graduates, also spoke about how WHCC has helped her toward her goal of becoming a nurse and encouraged her classmates to keep working toward their goals.

“Don’t let this be the end of your success,” she said. “You’re the only one who can set your limits. But my question is why set them at all? The sky’s the limit.” Several students were also honored with learning area awards, which recognizes top students in different majors and programs.

All of this year’s graduating students were able to take advantage of West Hills College’s innovative Reg365 program which allows students to register for a full year’s worth of classes at one time. Many of the graduating students were also participants in the Associate Degree for Transfer program, which guarantees admission at a school in the California State University system.