As students at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) worked toward graduation this spring semester, the novel COVID-19 virus created a unique situation for students across all programs of study. However, through their resilience, more than 1,000 students are set to be highlighted in the upcoming virtual commencement.
Taniesha Harrison is one of the combined 119 students who have graduated with either an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Following the completion of her ASN, Harrison has been accepted into the college’s BSN program.
“I want people to know that it is never too late to follow your dreams,” Harrison said.
Through the hard work of her instructors and academic advisor, Harrison said she was able to easily make the switch from in-person classes to the virtual face-to-face classes during GHC’s change to remote delivery to help stem the spread of the coronavirus this spring and summer.
“The transition to remote learning was smooth and the staff were very helpful,” Harrison said, adding that faculty and staff began providing information about how to handle transition early on. She specifically cited recently retired Director of Nursing and Professor Rebecca Maddox, who she said called her personally to make sure she had the proper equipment for remote learning and testing.
“The teachers researched all the online interactive clinical simulation and they ended up picking i-Human, which was great,” Harrison said. “It was easy to navigate through, and if you had any issues they were right there to help. By them finding this program, it helped us to graduate on time because the board of nursing accepted this instead of doing our preceptorship hours.”
Harrison, who lives in Acworth and has attended classes on both the Rome campus and the Cartersville site, faced numerous obstacles working toward her education in the era of COVID-19. Despite these difficulties, she said GHC provided options and assistance to help her reach her goals and continue her education.
Harrison previously served as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for two years and as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for 10 years. She said her next goal is to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.
Georgia Highlands College will host its 50th commencement virtually on July 25. For more information about upcoming virtual events and programs of study, please visit highlands.edu.