(BRANCHVILLE) – Warden Kathy Alvey, Branchville Correctional Facility and Oakland City University, wish to congratulate the 100 plus offenders on their recent graduation.
Branchville Correctional Facility (BCF) in conjunction with Oakland City University (OCU) held its graduation ceremony on December 11, 2019. The ceremony recognized student achievements in TASC, NCCER Welding, Master Student Master Employee (MSME), and Business TEch programs. To earn their basic high school equivalency diploma, 30 offenders completed the TASC program. Seventeen offenders completed the Welding program and earned 34 NCCER certifications, an OSHA 10 authorization card and an American Welding Society (AWS) certificate. MSME had 18 offenders complete their mastery of essential workplace skills and earn an ACT National Career Readiness Certification. Fourteen offenders completed Business Tech program, achieving mastery of digital literacy skills and earn and IC-3 Internet and Computing Core Certification.
OCU Site Manager Ms. James and OCU regional coordinator Ms. Wagner, added to the ceremony, with flare to press upon the offenders how important their achievements really are. The Graduation ceremony began with Branchville Correctional Facility, Alex R. Terwiske American Legion Post #390, presenting the colors, and Offender Chase Miller signing the National Anthem.
Warden Alvey spoke of the offenders and Oakland City University praising them on their accomplishments. “Oakland City did a great job with this graduation. One graduate received his certification and had tears in his eyes. This shows how important these types of events mean to the participants. A good education is the best gift we can give.” stated Warden Alvey. Warden Alvey then presented a congratulatory video from Governor Holcomb. “Based on the Governor’s five pillars, the facility works hard to have all of the population workforce ready and this starts with them getting an education.” Warden Alvey finished her speech.
Keynote speaker Jordan Baer, the region 8 coordinator for the Hoosier Initiative for Reentry Program (HIRE) spoke to the student about the HIRE program and the opportunities available to the offenders upon release. The HIRE program is dedicated to helping those with felony convictions find a career, not just a job.
The OCU teachers and instructors then presented the students with their graduation certificates. Each instructor spoke about their program and announced each student’s name for them to come to the stage to get their certificates. Mr. House, Ms. Drach and Ms. Kanneberg lead the way with the 30 TASC graduates. Next cam Mr. LaFollette who presented his 17 offenders with their Welding Certifications. Ms. Scott finished the presentation of certificates with 18 MSME and 14 Business Tech diplomas.
OCU manager Ms. James then closed the ceremony by applauding the graduates’ accomplishments and the Culinary Arts program lead by instructor Mr. Rash, served a meal to all the graduates, teachers, tutors, and administration.