Madison Adult graduation

Madison Adult Career Center held its graduation for the class of 2020, celebrating the many different programs it offers. 

MANSFIELD — Madison Adult Career Center held its graduation on June 12, giving students who completed career development programs during the 2019-20 school year a good note to leave on despite times of social distancing. 

Adults ranging in ages graduated from Madison Adult Career Center programs including Cosmetology, Dental Assisting, Industrial Electrical Maintenance, Medical & Legal Office Management, Medical Assisting Technologies, Phlebotomy, Precision Machining/CNC Technology, State Tested Nurse Aide, and Welding Technology. Some students also completed the Adult Diploma Program.

Crystal McMillen, transitions coordinator and financial aid advisor, watched proudly from the front of Madison Middle School where the graduation occurred. As students from different programs arrived at their designated time slots, she and other staff members greeted them with excitement. 

“I'm really proud of our students and our staff because this was new for all of us,” McMillen said, referring to having to make the switch from a traditional classroom setting to online learning. “And they really took the challenge head on and they really worked hard to overcome some of the obstacles of distance learning.”

Toniesha Mitchell, 34, graduated with both her Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy certifications. Having not graduated during her original high school years, Mitchell decided to go back to school and graduate at the same time as her 18 year old daughter. 

“I said, ‘I'm gonna beat you to this diploma.' She (her daughter) said, ‘Yeah we'll see,’” Mitchell recalled with a laugh. 

From Madison Adult Career Center’s adult diploma program through the Ohio Department of Education, she completed the STNA program, which also made her eligible for a high school diploma.

After working in home healthcare and nursing homes, Mitchell feels confident that helping others is her calling. 

“I was a housekeeper at a nursing home and I used to go to the residence room and I (said), ‘I'm gonna get in that field,’ and I did,” Mitchell said. 

Michael Heston, 25, graduated from the Dental Assisting program as the only male in the class. 

“I was the only guy but they all brought me in like a giant family, like when I was in the army. The whole point was to be a family, which I really love,” Heston said. 

Heston served in the army for two years as an infantryman (11B). After coming home, he decided he wanted to go into Dental Assisting as a way to be part of something that helps people. Now that he’s graduated, he already has interviews lined up. 

Kenyatta Shirley, 34, completed the Phlebotomy program while at the same time having two sons at home she needed to provide for. She hopes to work in a clinic and go into the medical administration field, working either the first or third shift. 

“I want better for me and my family, so I strive,” she said. 

Madison Adult Career Center graduated 109 adult students this school year. 

Their disclosures as reported on their 2019 accreditation annual report include a completion rate of 88% with 78% of completers working in the related field of their training, and 92% of completers earning industry certification.

Madison Adult Career Center provides training to individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, dislocated workers, and employed individuals gaining new skills and/or upgrading their current skills.

Programs enable students to complete their training, earn certifications and enter the workforce quickly.

If you would like to learn more about career development or adult diploma programs, click here or call Madison Adult Career Center at 419-589-6363.

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Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.