MOSES LAKE — With cloud cover providing cool weather Friday evening at Lions Field in Downtown Moses Lake, Big Bend Community College made history conferring it’s new Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management (BAS-AM) degree on 26 students along with 513 other associate degrees and high school diplomas.
Friday night marked the completion of the first BAS-AM cohort a with 90 percent completing the program within 2 years, 65 percent being adult students working full-time jobs, and more than half of graduates being first-generation college students.
“I really want to thank Big Bend for implementing this new BAS-AM program and making it accessible to our community,” said BAS-AM Cohort 1 representative Shelley Mease. “My (associate’s) degree is in Early Childhood Education and I was planning to major in social work. However, to do that, I was going to have to transfer to a university which would have meant commuting and made it very difficult. When I saw information about the new (BAS-AM) degree, I knew that it was for me. What a blessing to be able to stay local and complete this degree through Big Bend Community College.”
In total, 523 graduates from 60 cities and towns from across the state of Washington and from California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and the country of Mongolia crossed the stage earning 539 degrees — including 119 Running Start students who earned both their high school diplomas and an associate’s degree.
“All of us here today have overcome many obstacles on our paths to completing our educations,” said 2023 Associated Student Body President Paige Tolly. “… obstacles are not roadblocks but opportunities for growth. Each setback taught us valuable lessons about perseverance, determination, and resilience. It is in the face of adversity that we discovered our true strength and capabilities.”
BBCC President Dr. Sara Thompson-Tweedy closed out the ceremony with a grateful message to the class of 2023.
“Your degree symbolizes, not only knowledge, but also persistence, a renewed sense of self-confidence, and is a clear demonstration of inner strength. And know that we are grateful that you spent part of your life’s journey with us. We send you into the world to stand as leaders! You make us proud.”