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San Diego College of Continuing Education celebrates record-breaking numbers at its June 7 commencement

June 5, 2023

San Diego College of Continuing Education celebrates record-breaking numbers at its June 7 commencement The San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE), which this year is conferring  a record-breaking 10,537 diplomas and certificates, holds its annual commencement ceremony on Wednesday, June 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

More than 400 SDCCE graduates are expected to participate in the joint commencement ceremony with the San Diego Unified School District’s Adult School program. For the first time ever, 10 high school seniors, who completed a pilot pathway through SDCCE’s Personal Care Aide certificate program, will walk in the SDCCE commencement.

SDCCE is the region’s leading provider of tuition-free workforce training — nearly half of the 30,000 students served annually is made up of immigrants, refugees, and English language learners. From the skilled trades and information technology to everything in between, adult students benefit from hundreds of free career certificate programs and classes.

“The SDCCE set me up for my whole life,” said Alexis Primo-Hawkins, who is graduating with certificates in child development and business and who was selected to be the student speaker. “I prayed for this moment; it's very surreal that I put myself here.”

Primo-Hawkins, who is raising 5-year-old and 4-year-old children, immigrated to San Diego from Guyana and found success opening a home daycare business. The pandemic, however, forced Primo-Hawkins to close her doors in 2020 and left her desperate to figure out what’s next.

That’s when she found SDCCE.

Primo-Hawkins not only thrived in school, but she found a calling advocating for other student-parents at the state and local levels. She isn’t done yet; she’s also taking classes at San Diego Mesa College, where she’s on pace to graduate with an associate degree next fall.

SDCCE awards more certificates of completion annually than any other noncredit adult educational institution in the state of California.

Allura Olympia Garis