Montana community college grads earn degrees

Flathead Valley Community College graduates 268

flathead valley community college 2023 commencement, montana living, mary tirman

Mary Tirman put her education on hold while she raised a family. Now Tirman, 82, is graduating from community college.

Tirman will officially receive her degree Friday during commencement ceremonies at Flathead Valley Community College. “You can’t do anything about your age, but you can do something about how you live your life,” Tirman said.

Commencement is in Wachholz College Center’s McClaren Hall on FVCC’s Kalispell campus, where 268 students will receive 288 degrees and certificates. Also set to be honored are nine nursing graduates.

For a group of 20 Columbia Falls High School students, that means graduating high school with a diploma this year while earning a certificate in welding from FVCC at the same time. FVCC’s Running Start program for high school juniors and seniors made it possible for these young graduates to go immediately into the workforce.

Tyla Difeo realized her passion for the study of biology when she started taking classes at FVCC. She will graduate with an Associate of Science degree Friday as she transfers to pursue a four-year degree at University of Montana, then a master’s degree and possibly on to medical school. “You don’t have to be fresh out of high school to start a new career," she said. "I think it’s the best thing I’ve chosen to do."

FVCC offers career-ready degree programs, customized transfer options for students looking for an affordable start to their education, as well as certificate programs to help students enter the workforce. FVCC offers more than 50 career and technical programs providing students with the skills and knowledge to move quickly into local careers.

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