National University will recognize students at a special Nevada Graduation Celebration on Sunday, April 29, 2018. The private, nonprofit university, which holds commencement ceremonies in Northern and Southern California each year, is thrilled to kick off its inaugural Nevada ceremony that recognizes a diverse student population and includes students completing their degree programs online and at the University’s campus in Henderson, NV.
The Nevada Graduation Celebration at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, begins at 4 p.m. and will be presided over by Dr. David Andrews, National University President, and Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System. The keynote speaker is Pat Skorkowsky, Superintendent of Clark County School District.
More than 500 guests, including graduates and their families, are expected to attend the ceremony. Among those receiving their degrees on Sunday, are mother and daughter Louiza and Stephanie Herzig, both Clark County educators who intend to use their degrees to make an even greater impact in their local schools.
“It’s beyond rewarding to be able to accomplish something so special together with my mom,” said Stephanie, who is earning her master’s degree in elementary education. “She has sacrificed so much for us, and it is so amazing to see her do something so meaningful for herself.”
Louiza, who will be receiving a teaching credential in special education, had long dreamed of earning a bachelor’s degree needed to teach special education children in public schools, but life, marriage and raising a family put that dream on hold. She found a way to achieve her goals through the National University Sanford College of Education, which is named after renowned philanthropist T. Denny Sanford and is among the top ten largest schools of education in the country.
While attending National University, which was founded on the mission of providing quality, accessible education to a diverse group of adult learners such as working parents, military community and educators, Louiza, 49, worked as a teacher’s aide in a Las Vegas High School special education classroom.
In response to a statewide teacher shortage, National University expanded its program offerings to the Henderson campus to add well-prepared and inspired teachers to Nevada’s classrooms. Through the University’s APPLE program (an acronym for Accelerated Preparation Pathway to Licensure and Employment), and in conjunction with the Clark County School District, Louiza secured a scholarship and a 20 percent tuition reduction. Louiza said she plans to stay at Las Vegas High School, but instead of being a teacher’s aide, she’ll now be teaching her own class.
“It is like a dream come true,” said Louiza. “It will be very emotional, something I never could have imagined before. National University is a great institution, and they have worked so hard to make this event happen. I couldn’t be happier.”
Louiza was introduced to National University by her daughter Stephanie, 26. Stephanie’s interest in education began when she was earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and working as an elementary school aide in a classroom serving special-needs children. While studying for her master’s degree in elementary education, Stephanie was working with GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally funded effort designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Her newly earned degree, which included three months of student teaching at Laura Dearing Elementary School in Las Vegas, will allow her to have an even greater impact in educational planning and curriculum development while enabling her to teach.
“National University has a very challenging but very rewarding program,” said Stephanie. “The four-week class format makes it a lot easier and convenient for mid-career professionals who can’t commit to being at a college campus all the time. It was perfect for my mom and it was perfect for me.”
For the Herzig family, the celebrating won’t end with the graduations of Louiza and Stephanie come April 29. Louiza Herzig’s other daughter, Mary, is graduating from National University with a degree in film next spring. “We’re all one big, happy National University family,” said Louiza.
National University has provided educational programs to Nevadans for over 30 years, but this is the first time the University has expanded its recognition of graduates beyond Northern and Southern California commencement ceremonies.
ABOUT NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1971, National University is among the largest, private, nonprofit universities in California. With more than 170,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. http://www.nu.edu/