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Nearly 300 PCC Adult Education Students to Graduate Wednesday

May 21, 2013

 “Head in the direction of your dreams,” one grad says

Tucson, AZ – After being out of school for 36 years, Maria “Rosario” Messina will be among nearly 300 men and women crossing the stage in a cap and gown Wednesday to receive her GED.

“Always head in the direction of your dreams,” said Messina, who will be one of the three student speakers at Pima Community College’s annual Celebration of Achievement at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall.

Messina passed the General Education Development, or GED, exam in February and is ready to take the next step towards continuing her education. 

“Start setting additional goals for yourself. Don't let it stop here-- think of it as a stepping stone,” said Messina, who is interested in earning a pharmacy or nursing degree.

Since June of last year, 1,502 students have received GEDs through PCC’s Adult Education program, 331 more than last year.  The College has provided GED instruction and testing to southern Arizonans for more than 40 years.

“We are so proud of these graduates and their perseverance in obtaining their GED,” said Dr. Darla Zirbes, Vice President of Instruction at Community Campus.  “Each student has worked extremely hard to achieve their GED, which will certainly open new doors to career and educational possibilities.”  

  • What: PCC Adult Education GED graduation ceremony
  • When: Wednesday, May 22, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.
  • Information:  Free and open to the public

Starting on Jan. 1, 2014, there will be a new GED® test.  This means anyone who has started their GED® test must pass all five parts of the test by the end of this year or they will be required to take the entire series over.  GED® tests taken after Jan. 1, 2014 cannot be combined with tests taken before that date.  The last day to register for taking the GED® test at Pima is Nov. 4, 2013. 

Free High School Equivalency preparation classes are available through PCC Adult Education.  For more information, call 206-6433 or go to

Quick Facts of this year’s GED Graduation

  • 1,502 GED graduates
  • 676 female GED graduates
  • 826 male GED graduates
  • Oldest graduate:  72 years old (for the record, the oldest recipient of a GED earned through PCCAE was an 80-something adult learner a few years ago.)
  • Youngest graduate:  16 years old (fifty-one 16-year-olds)

C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850