ASU New College reception celebrates hundreds of online grads


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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 the fall of 2019, ASU New College commemorated hundreds of online graduates. Afterward, they brought this unique group together for a post-ceremony 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.

Hannah’s mom, Kristin Giffin, is in complete agreement. She added, “When online school became an option, when ASU online became an option, I had such peace as a mom. I would worry a lot when she did community college and it was really hard to manage health issues, significant health issues… while working and while going to school.”

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, health concerns, and geographic location can make it difficult to attend in-person classes. Online degrees provide a flexible and accommodating 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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