Flashbacks From the Lab: Summer Graduation at Eastside Village University

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On August 18th, 2011, Eastside University Village Community Learning Center (ESUVCLC) celebrated the end of summer semester with a graduation and awards ceremony with 150 attendees. And that’s without the many evening students still at work.

Graduation has been an official tradition of ESUVCLC since it began in 1998. While the center once offered classes through Houston Community college, it now has its own freestanding accreditation from South Association of Colleges and Schools. Students earn transferable credits in computer basics and Microsoft Office suite, as well as in Spanish, English as Second Language (ESL) and General Education Development (GED).

Held across the street at the Holman Street Baptist Church, the ceremony was recorded for local radio stations. One is operated by neighboring Texas Southern University, ESUVCLC founder Manson B. Johnson’s alma mater. Impressive, since graduation originally featured a few ESL students. Director Bracy Johnson notes, “They started off small, but you can see they’ve gotten steadily bigger.”

This growth owes much to the close community ESUVCLC supports. With time permitting, each instructor took a moment to praise each student during the ceremony. They told of students abandoning dying cars just to be on time, or working two jobs without missing a class. One student received her certificate and a promotion through her computer class. At the end of the ceremony, students gave their instructors a heartfelt thank you and a new pen. The audience was just as supportive: applause never wavered as students strode, head high, to their awards.

The sense of community carried through the potluck lunch held afterwards, where church and community members served roasted chicken, fresh fruit and more. Students, friends and family congratulated one another and bragged about their certificates. Several students received a combination —while all students received a certificate of Completion or of Aspiration, they could also receive certificates of Outstanding Achievement, Most Improved and Perfect Attendance.

Eastside University Village Community Learning Center began its fall semester September 12th, 2011.

Eastside University Village Community Learning Center is located in Houston’s historic Third Ward. Among other adult education projects, it holds regular GED, ESL and computer courses. For more information, call 713-747-9255 or visit at 3614 Holman St.

Source: Technology For All

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