Centralia College’s Graduating Class at Cedar Creek Corrections Center
March 16, 2016
Department of Corrections
LITTLEROCK - Hard work and dedicated studying paid off for 56 offenders who graduated from various courses at Cedar Creek Corrections Center February 17. The offenders, dressed in caps and gowns, walked across the stage to collect their college certificates during a graduation ceremony hosted at the correctional facility. The men received their high school equivalency certificates (GED) or graduated from programs offered by Centralia College at Cedar Creek.
Many completed more than one of the quarterly long certificate programs to help them become more employable once released. The courses offered by Centralia College include, horticulture, building maintenance, drywall, roofing and siding. More offenders earned the right to participate in the evening’s ceremony, but had already transferred to the community before they had the chance to take the graduation walk of success. Some who have released are putting this training to good use, working for construction companies or landscaping firms.
Offenders receiving their GED diplomas were dressed in red gowns and caps while others wore the traditional black. Class speakers for the evening were Robert Dodgin and Aaron Hill. Ionatana Vaivaimuli joined the rest of the Cedar Creek Native American Drum Circle to honor his fellow graduates with a traditional song of praise during ceremony.
Dignitaries from Centralia College and the Department lined up to shake hands with the graduates. Those representing Centralia Community College included college President James Walton, Vice President John Martens, Education Director Jacquie Armstrong, and several members of the board of trustees.
Each offender could invite up to two approved family members and/or friends to be part of the evening honoring those who had completed their training or receiving a GED.
Educational and vocational opportunities are offered at each of the state’s correctional facilities. Most of the educational services are provided through a contract with the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.