University Park, IL,
12:21 PM

Dual Degree Graduates Receive Cords

Governors State University (GSU) Senior Megan Rodgers scribbled notes across her script just minutes before 2019 graduates received ceremonial cords for their participation in the Dual Degree Program (DDP).

As the featured student speaker, Rodgers wanted to perfect her message to her fellow DDP graduates and their loved ones.

"We did it, folks,'' she exclaimed to her 60 fellow graduates, each of whom began their journey to a four-year-degree at a two-year college.

Associate Provost Colleen Sexton provided data for context.

“Over 80 percent of students who enroll in associate programs at community college intend to transfer to four-year institutions. However, only 32 percent actually do within six years. Fewer than 15 percent earn a bachelor’s degree in that time frame. The students we recognize tonight are the exception to those statistics,’’ Sexton told the graduates, their families, and friends gathered on the stage of the Center for Performing Arts. 

Since GSU began the unique pathway program in 2012, more than 740 students have transferred to the university with the guidance and assistance of dedicated DDP specialist.

Today, the university partners with 17 schools across the Chicago area, providing academic resources and financial assistance to students.

During the ceremony, 2019 graduates—like those before them—received cords braided with the colors of their community college, as well as Governors State's signature black and white.

"The blended cord signifies wrapping up the two degrees and two experiences as the students prepare for graduation,'' said Jessica Specht, Director of the Dual Degree Program.

Sexton was joined by other GSU VIPs, as well as those from partner schools Prairie State and Olive Harvey colleges.

Now adorned with esteemed DDP regalia, students prepare themselves to receive their diplomas during the official Commencement exercises for all graduates on Saturday.

To learn more about the DDP program and best practices, join us for June 18 for summer institute.