In a first for Galveston County, 13 Galveston College students made history in December as the first graduates to receive Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management degrees from their local community college – Galveston College.
The students also were the first students ever to receive bachelor’s degrees from Galveston College, which before 2019 offered only two-year associate degrees and technical and professional certificates.
“The future is bright for the class of 2020,” said Dr. Tirizia York, program director. “I was honored to be a part of their educational journey, and I know they will use the leadership skills gained in the program to make a difference in the field of healthcare management.”
Class of 2020 graduates included Hemal Amin, Gabriela Bailon, Brittany Diaz, Ginger Jackson, Roza Kastis, Patricia Phol, Marsha Scoggin, Tiffany Sherman and Catalina Tovar, all of Galveston; Michele Garza and Yvonne Shaw, both of La Marque; Jeremy Ross of Rosharon; and Christina Trevino of League City.
“We are so proud to have our first cohort of students graduating with their Bachelor of Applied Science degrees,” said Dr. Cissy Matthews, vice president of instruction. “These students were able to balance responsibilities they have for home and work while completing this rigorous curriculum. I know their hard work and determination will pay off as they take on future leadership roles within the healthcare industry.”
The Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management prepares graduates for entry- to mid-level management positions in planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed-care organizations, public health agencies or similar organizations. The students took a blend of online and on-campus classes.
“I enjoyed being in the program, and I feel that I learned a lot throughout the courses I took,” said Roza Kastis of Galveston. “Prior to this program, writing papers had been a challenge for me; however, the BAS program strengthened my ability to write effective reports pertaining to healthcare management. My instructor, Dr. York, was very helpful and responded quickly to emails if I had a question. Overall, this experience enhanced my growth and my intellectual skills.”
In November 2017, the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents took a historic vote to create the opportunity for Galveston College to pursue offering the bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The college launched the Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management in fall 2019 and plans to add the Bachelor of Science in Nursing soon.
“The bachelor’s degrees we are offering complement our two-year degree and certificate programs that prepare students for the workforce and to transfer to four-year universities,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, president of Galveston College. “These are degrees where there is a local workforce need either for skills that need specific training and require a bachelor’s degree or for someone who has those skills and wants to advance into a management role.”
Dr. Shelton said Galveston College will continue to add baccalaureate programs, while retaining the technical mission that is part of a community college’s job — that is, training workers for local industries.
“These graduates are a testimony to the need for affordable bachelor’s degrees offered close to home, work and family,” Dr. Shelton said. “We are very proud of their achievements and wish them the best as they continue their careers and future educational pursuits.”