Ashworth College Blog

Make your college graduation a day to remember

Written by Ashworth College on Friday, 27 July 2018. Posted in Life Hacks

Make Your College Graduation A Day To Remember

Your graduation from Ashworth College is a momentous occasion. As an educational milestone, your online college degree should be one of the most wonderful and memorable events of your life. But mishaps can crop up to turn your excitement into a series of annoyances. Take these tips from graduates who came before you and you’ll proceed to a photo finish, smiling all the way.

  1. Try your regalia attire on before graduation day. Make sure it all fits, there are no snags and the gown is the right length. Try on the shoes you’ll be wearing at graduation and so that if the gown is too long, you can have it hemmed.
  2. Wear the proper clothing. Ashworth College graduation day is a long one! We give everyone time to take photos, socialize, and of course rehearse with a complete run-through of the ceremony. Metro Atlanta in August is hot, so this tip boils down to wearing cool, lightweight clothing. But even though you’ll be wearing your graduation gown over your clothes, don’t dress too casually. Dark pants, socks, and shoes are best for men as the colors blend well with the dark graduation gown.

    Many women choose to wear a comfortable dress or skirt. Choose dress shoes that are dark and allow you to walk comfortably and naturally. Avoid sandals, sneakers and any shoes you haven’t broken in yet or that you might trip over as you walk up the steps to the stage.

  3. Charge up your phone before arrival. You’ll want to take lots of photos so before you leave home or your hotel room, charge up that phone. It’s a good idea to bring a charger with you to the gradution ceremony, just in case.
  4. Hit the restroom before the proceedings. The Ashworth College graduation ceremony involves hundreds of graduates. This means you’ll be standing in line as you march with other grads to your seat, sitting for awhile before your name is called to come up to the stage and receive your honors, and waiting at your seat while the rest of the grads are called. You get the idea.
  5. Cap, tassel, and bedazzles. How to wear a graduation cap properly has stymied more than one graduate. Here’s how it works:

    • Stretch the cap and lay it directly on top of your head. The front tip of the mortarboard (flat part atop the cap) should be angled centrally on your forehead with the tag and elastic band centered at the back. (See tutorial here)
    • Smooth out any tangled strands within the tassel.
    • Loop the tassel around the button at the top of the mortarboard.
    • The tassel should drape down the right side of your cap during the ceremony. At the finale, move the tassel over to the left to symbolize your graduation.
    • If you are earning a master’s degree or above, your tassel should remain on the left side throughout the commencement.

    You may wish to personalize your cap by attaching something that is meaningful to you. Decorate it as you would like. Some people attach glitter or write a unique message on it. Just assure the cap is securely attached to your head so it won’t fall off.

  6. The toss. Some students like to toss their caps into the air at the very end of the commencement ceremony as an expression of joy—and possibly relief. We’ll leave that up to you!

One final thought: Take time to appreciate the joy of the moment, in a day that celebrates your determination to overcome the barriers to education and your attainment of a worthwhile goal.

Congratulations Graduates!

About the Author

Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Our community is full of independent, motivated, growth-focused students. Dive into our blog to explore diverse stories from our students, friends, experts, and executives. From tips & tricks to student experiences and alumni stories, the Ashworth Blog is all about celebrating our community's accomplishments and passions.

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Meet the Ashworth College Online Engagement Coordinator: #ShawnCares

Why Ashworth Meet the Ashworth College Online Engagement Coordinator: #ShawnCares

We’re not so different from the students we serve. Like them, we each have our individual goals, dreams, personal roadblocks, and vision for who want to be and where we want to go. Here at Ashworth College, we’re all about inspiring and enabling students to be their best selves, so we thought we’d share insights into what motivates our staff to GO BEYOND the ordinary and always—always—strive for more.

Every company has that person—the one who knows everyone and seems to hold the key to finding the answers to any question. At Ashworth College, that person is Online Engagement Coordinator Shawn Bryant. Or, as he’s referred to by his social media teammates, #ShawnCares.

A graduate of James Madison University and lifelong athlete, Shawn originally came to Ashworth College in 2007 as an Admissions Advisor to pay for his training to play professional football. He eventually returned to Ashworth College where his career path took him from Admissions, to Student Services, to being tapped to join the social media team.

Today, Shawn can be found behind the scenes on the social media sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) for Ashworth College and sister sites James Madison High School (JMHS), Madison School of Healthcare, and PCDI-Canada, responding to questions and resolving issues.

Q: #ShawnCares. Why do you think your peers gave you that nickname?

A: I think it’s because anything I put my name on, I take seriously. I remember something our CEO, Rob Klapper said, about everyone in our company being important from the janitor to the CEO and that resonated with me. When I’m responding to students, I’m not speaking for myself—I’m speaking for Ashworth College. So I treat every issue as if I had something to do with it, personally. That helps me be the very best I can be.

Q: You were the Chairman of VOTE for six years. Tell us about that.

A: VOTE is “Voice of the Employee” and its purpose is to give employees across the company a means to be heard. It’s also a morale booster, as we headed a number of projects like Habitat for Humanity builds, food bank drives, our annual company picnic, etc. When I was chair, I was still in admissions and student services but I had one-on-ones with our CEO, representing employee concerns. That was great training for what I do now on our social media channels.

Q: What’s your superpower?

A: I’m a puzzle-finder. My degree is in sociology with a minor in criminal justice and for a while I thought I might be a detective. My current role allows me a good bit of detective work. I trace down what was said, what the roadblock is, and put together the story of what happened, so I can bring our team members together to resolve it.

Shawn Bryant and Kamogelo Phahladira

Shawn Bryant and Kamogelo Phahladira. Kamogelo traveled from South Africa to attend our 2018 graduation. She often reached out to Ashworth College on Facebook Messenger with questions and was thrilled to meet the person who helped her along the way!

Q: What do you most enjoy about your job?

A: Resolving issues! It’s great to turn a frown into a smile or just know I was able to help someone seeking answers.

Q: You live on social media during the day. Are you active on your own time?

A: Oddly enough, no. (Laughs). I prefer face-to-face conversations and being able to read body language and hear someone’s tone. That’s why when I receive a complaint over social media, I read the complaint over and over and over. I’m really trying to “hear” what the person is saying, so I can respond appropriately and give them the answers they need.

Certification Preparation

Career Why Ashworth Certification Preparation

Many of our career training programs include certification preparation as an integral part of their course content. We ensure that content in these courses aligns specifically with the content of the corresponding exam, so that the job training you receive gets right to the heart of the skills you need to succeed. When certification is what you need to land the job, Ashworth College is here to help you make that happen!

Scroll through the study areas below to see what kinds of certification preparation our programs can offer. Click on a program name for more details about enrollment, curriculum, and tuition.

Healthcare Programs

CBCS Certification Preparation

Prep to become a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) through our Medical Billing and Coding Career Diploma program. The cost of the certification exam, exam prep resources, and your official certificate and wallet ID card are included with program tuition.

Pharm Tech Certification Preparation

The certification required for pharm techs varies based on the laws that regulate the place of employment, that’s why our Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma program preps you for two certifications – ExCPT from the National Healthcareer Association and PTCE from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Tuition covers the cost of your choice of certification exam.

IAHCSMM Certification Preparation

Our Sterile Processing Career Diploma program preps you for Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) Certification from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management. Tuition includes the cost of the certification exam.

CMAA Certification Preparation

Work toward adding Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) to your resume in our Medical Office Assistant Career Diploma program. Tuition covers the cost of the certification exam from the National Healthcareer Association, exam prep resources, and your official certificate and wallet ID card are covered by tuition.

Medical Transcription Certification Preparation

A Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Certification proves to potential employers that you have job skills that will add value to their businesses – even if you’re new to the workforce. Prep for the certification exam from the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity in our Medical Transcription Career Diploma program. Tuition includes the cost of the exam.

Healthcare Compliance Officer Certification Preparation

Undergraduate degree holders can prep to become a Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO™) in our single-semester Healthcare Compliance Graduate Certificate program. The cost of the exam from AAPC and a one-year AAPC membership are both included with tuition.

Trades Programs

EPA 608 Certification Preparation

In the U.S., technicians who work with coolant must meet a skills requirement set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Prep for EPA Section 608 Certification in our Heating and Air Conditioning Career Diploma program. The cost of the certification exam from the ESCO Institute is included with tuition.

ASE Certification Preparation

Prep for a variety of tests in the ASE-Certified Master Automobile Technicians series with one or all of our automotive programs. Whether you’re a weekend hobbyist or aspiring professional mechanic, ASE-aligned training meets an industry standard. Study for tests A1, A4, A5, and A6 in our Automotive Technician Career Certificate program; A2 in our Automotive Automatic Transmissions Career Certificate program; A3 in our Automotive Manual Drive Trains Career Certificate program; A7 in our Automotive HVAC Career Certificate program; or A8 in our Automotive Engine Performance Career Certificate program.

Technology Programs

AutoCAD Certification Preparation

Getting certified in AutoCAD is the first step of your professional path in computer-aided design and drafting. Our AutoCAD Career Diploma program is affordable, self-paced prep for Autodesk AutoCAD Certified User Certification. Tuition covers the certification exam, a practice test, and a retest.

CompTIA Certification Preparation

A+ certifications on your resume can establish you as a top-grade candidate in the eyes of IT employers. In our Computer Service and Repair Career Diploma program, you’ll prep for CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902 certification exams delivered at Pearson VUE testing Centers. Tuition covers the cost of both exams.

Business Programs

Bookkeepers Certification Preparation

National Bookkeepers Association certifications assure potential employers that your skills meet a national standard. Depending on your desired job path, you can prep for their Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Exam in our Accounting Basics Career Diploma program or our Bookkeeping Career Diploma program. Tuition includes the exam, practice test, and your official certificate.

Tax Preparation Certification Prep

Prep for the Uniform Tax Certification Exam by the National Bookkeepers Association by enrolling in our Tax Preparation Career Diploma program. Tuition includes the exam, practice test, and your official certificate.

Payroll Certification Preparation

Our Payroll Clerk Career Diploma program preps you for the Uniform Payroll Certification Exam by the National Bookkeepers Association. Tuition includes the exam, practice test, and your official certificate. Tuition includes the exam, practice test, and your official certificate.

Food Handler Certification Preparation

Food preparation is highly-regulated by local public health agencies and federal laws. Earning your ServSafe® Food Handler Certification is a must if you’re headed toward a hospital career. Prep for the National Restaurant Association exam in our Hotel and Restaurant Management Career Diploma program, or our Gourmet Cooking and Catering Career Diploma program.

NCSF Personal Trainer Certification Preparation

Having your Personal Trainer Certification (CPT) boosts your value in the eyes of potential clients in the competitive wellness market. Our Personal Trainer Career Diploma programs preps you for the certification exam from the National Council on Strength and Fitness. Tuition includes the cost of the exam and a practice test.

If you have questions about our certification prep programs please contact one of our Admissions Advisors at 1-800-957-5412.

How a Diagnosis Led to a Dream Career

Success Stories How a South African au pair became the first in her family to earn a college diploma

In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities — no matter the obstacles to be overcome.

Kamogelo Phahladira’s accomplishments are monumental, yet she speaks softly and modestly about them, her pride coming across only occasionally in the form of a self-conscious giggle. Not merely the first in her family to graduate with a college diploma, Kamogelo completed two Ashworth College programs in the space of 12 months. And this young South African woman from an economically disadvantaged family did it by overcoming obstacles others might never dream of.

A good opportunity, or too good to be true?

Kamogelo’s educational odyssey began in September 2017, when she arrived in the U.S. from South Africa as an au pair recruited by a cultural exchange organization that brings international students to the U.S. to provide nanny services to a host family while they study. The company promised Kamogelo “money for college” as part of her compensation package, but when she arrived in the U.S. she quickly discovered the $500 educational stipend offered by the company wouldn’t begin to cover tuition costs at any bricks-and-mortar university.

“I signed up with the cultural exchange program mainly for the potential to earn a college degree while I worked, but I realized there was no way I could afford to attend college on $500,”

Kamogelo explained, “so my father suggested I return home. But meanwhile I decided to look online for a college I might be able to afford, and I discovered Ashworth College.”

The path to an online college diploma – or two

Perhaps because of her too-good-to-be-true experience with the cultural exchange organization, Kamogelo at first took a skeptical view of Ashworth College. “I investigated them very thoroughly,” she said. “I read reviews and watched YouTube videos of their graduation ceremony to be sure they were a real college.”

Meanwhile, Kamogelo returned to her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, and took a job as a nanny there. Convinced Ashworth College was the real deal, Kamogelo enrolled in the paralegal career diploma program. “I really enjoyed that program, especially working at my own pace,” Kamogelo said. “It allowed me to complete the degree very quickly.”

But why not just attend college in South Africa?

“The curriculums for programs like paralegal or forensic science are not very good in my country,” Kamogelo explained, “and education is very expensive here. For me, coming from a poor background, it would be hard to complete a degree in South Africa because it’s too expensive, but Ashworth College was very affordable and has been a stepping stone to greater things for me.”

Parlaying her education into a career

Indeed, Kamogelo’s success in completing the paralegal diploma so quickly – with honors, no less – led her to consider taking a second program: the forensic science career diploma. And this decision unwittingly launched Kamogelo into her dream career.

“My local newspaper wrote up a small article about my educational accomplishments, which must have been seen by the South African Police Services (SAPS). They contacted me to offer me a position in forensics, sort of like an internship,” she said. “I can’t tell you how exciting that was.”

Walking the commencement stage

Asked what motivated her to study hard and graduate with honors from two Ashworth College programs, Kamogelo credits her family and friends. “When my parents and some friends told me they were saving up money to travel to America to watch me walk the stage at graduation, I felt very motivated to do my best with my studies,” Kamogelo said.

Today, the sky’s the limit for this ambitious young woman, whose ultimate goal is to work in crime scene investigation. So what would she say to other prospective students who may face financial barriers or other obstacles to an education? “Don’t limit yourself” is her quick response. And that’s good advice for anyone who has not yet discovered the benefits of the affordable online education offered by Ashworth College.

Learn more about the wide variety of online college degrees, diplomas and career certificates offered by Ashworth College. Talk to an admissions advisor today!

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