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News Release

Santiago Canyon College to Graduate Its 25,000th Student


18th Annual Commencement Slated for June 9

(Orange, CA) - Santiago Canyon College (SCC) will graduate its 25,000th student on Friday, June 9, 2017. The 18th annual commencement ceremony is slated for 6:00 p.m. on the Vazquez Promenade at the campus located at 8045 E. Chapman Ave. in Orange.

kimberly orellanaThe 25,000th student is 20-year-old Anaheim resident Kimberly Orellana. She will graduate with an Associate of Arts Transfer (AA-T) degree in studio arts. Since fall 2014, Orellana has juggled attending college full-time while working full-time at a local auto dealer in the parts department.

"It has been tough going to school full-time and working full-time so I am glad that I got to this point and was really happy to hear that I would be SCC’s 25,000th graduate," said Orellana.

"I love SCC and picked it because the campus was not overcrowded,” she said. “It’s a college community where the professors take the time to spend more one-on-one time with students."

What she particularly appreciated about the college’s art program was how much time her fellow students took to support each other. She recalled how the art students would give constructive criticism or guidance to each other.

"We really tried to help each other whenever possible," she said. "In one of my 3D art classes, I had to build a mouse trap and was having the most difficult time. Another student showed me what I needed to do with the timing and the object I was using. At that moment, I learned not to be so detail-oriented, but to be more minimalistic and still get the same message across. I understood that less is more."

Orellana is also grateful for the support of her instructors at SCC. “They were always there guiding me in the right direction, especially Robbie Miller and Nicole Hartshorn,” she said. She said that Hartshorn noticed when her grade point average dropped drastically and took the time to talk with her about it. Unfortunately, Orellana’s father had passed away earlier that semester. “It helped to have someone with whom to talk about it,” she said.

Her instructors were also impressed by her as well. SCC Art Department Chair Robbie Miller said that Orellana proved herself to be a very talented digital photographer. He discussed how her work focused on the skate and motorcycle culture in Southern California. “Her work had dramatic high-contrast lighting,” he said.

After graduation, Orellana plans on transferring to California State University Channel Islands where she will study graphic design. She has set her sights on working in the advertising and marketing industry.

Within the past few years, SCC has invested in new facilities that cater to art students like Orellana. To support digital media arts instruction, the college has added a 33-station Mac computer lab with monitors and printers. There is also a separate studio with strobe lights, backdrops, and setups to mimic a professional photography studio. The college has also added a designated art gallery space.

The SCC Art Department has expanded instruction to include illustration and digital photography. Classes are also offered in digital media arts, mobile application development and design, painting, life drawing, drawing, web design, 2D and 3D design, and more. As the number of classes have grown, the number of instructors has increased by 30 percent. According to Miller, over the past five years, the number of art students has quadrupled at SCC.

This year, SCC's graduating class consists of 1,344 students, ranging in age from 17 to 70. In total, SCC will award more than 1,984 degrees. For more information about the SCC commencement, please call (714) 628-4932.

About Santiago Canyon College

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves more than 17,000 credit and non-credit students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult—and senior—in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

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