North Seattle College Class of ‘24 Honored During Commencement at T-Mobile Park

North Seattle College graduates wearing

North Seattle College (NSC) honored the class of 2024 during the Seattle Colleges commencement ceremony June 21 at T-Mobile Park. Some 1,138 graduates completed their programs and earned a degree or certificate during a time in which students have faced many challenges, not the least of which was a global pandemic that has drastically changed the way the college community taught and learned.

In her remarks to the graduates, newly named NSC President Dr. Rachel Solemsaas said, “You all worked so hard for this moment ... you not only survived, but you have thrived, and it is a pleasure to honor and celebrate you, class of 2024.”

She asked the graduates to thank those who have supported them in pursuing their education.

“You may not see it so clearly right now – through all the excitement, laughter and tears of joy,” Dr. Solemsaas said. “But one day you will understand just how important those people in your life are. And, at some point, you will undoubtedly be in the position of supporting others who are pursuing opportunities of their own.”

In a video-recorded message delivered in Spanish, Jorge Hernandez Matancillas, who earned an associate of applied science degree in Early Childhood Education, told his fellow graduates that it is “our turn to take everything we’ve learned and apply it in our communities, in our jobs and in our personal lives. It is our turn to transcend.”

He added, “Today, with our degrees in hand, we are armed to be the main actors of change. Let us move forward with courage, with hearts full of hope and with the certainty that the future is ours.”

As one of three Seattle Colleges, NSC shares graduation ceremonies with Seattle Central College and South Seattle College. Together, 3,372 students graduated this year. Of those, more than 1,500 (47%) are first generation, and more than 2,100 (64%) identify as students of color.  

For the first time, students graduating from North Seattle College’s Computer Science Bachelor of Science program participated in commencement. The program’s first cohort of students started the program in 2022.

North Seattle College conferred a total of 1,382 awards this year, including:

  •    357 academic transfer degrees, enabling graduates to transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Washington and beyond to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
  •    173 career training associate of science degrees and certificates, preparing graduates to enter the workforce immediately.
  •    653 short-term certificates, allowing graduates to enter/re-enter the workplace with improved skills.
  •    148 bachelor's degrees, taking graduates’ careers to the next level and increasing their earning potential.
  •    51 basic and transitional degrees, ensuring graduates have the education needed for college and career readiness.