Dallas College News Update


Angelika and Tiffany Gardner

Media Contact: Cherie Yurco; CMYurco@DallasCollege.edu

For immediate release — April 29, 2024

(DALLAS) — Tiffany Gardner was excited about launching her college career.

With 20 years of managerial experience, handling payroll, compensation and other procedures for a medical practice, she had no idea it would count as college credit.

“I didn’t get to go to college. I didn’t even get to graduate high school. When I was a teen, my mom got into a horrible car wreck that left her disabled and unable to work. Our whole lives changed,” she said. “I had to grow up fast.”

When she enrolled at Dallas College, Gardner signed up for the Dallas College Prior Assessment Program, which gave her a leg up — crediting her for knowledge and experience she had acquired in the workplace. “If you have work experience, you can earn your associate degree faster by using your professional skills to get closer to graduation,” she said. “Dallas College confirmed what I’d already learned.”

By using prior learning assessment, students can save over $1,100 in tuition and fees and earn up to 15 credit hours in a single semester, according to Dallas College officials. Dallas College evaluates and offers credit for work experience, military service and professional development and applies it to academic achievement.

“Learning is a lifelong process,” said Gardner, a mother of two who refused to see challenges as burdens. “I am so grateful that I will not only graduate from college, but graduate with my daughter. This is not something I ever would have thought possible. I grew up with lots of adversity, but I worked hard and never gave up.”

Tiffany’s hard work has rubbed off on her daughter, Angelika, 20, who will receive her associate degree at the same time. Both are graduating with honors from Dallas College, Angelika by way of the Dallas College Promise program, and Tiffany through the Parent Promise program.

Mother and daughter, both receiving associate degrees in Business Administration, are scheduled to walk together during one of Dallas College’s graduation ceremonies on May 10, 6 p.m., at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.

Their mutual story of drive and passion includes Tiffany and Angelika collaborating to pick out and complete their courses. “I love helping Angelika plan for her future. I believe in her, her abilities and what her future holds,” Tiffany said. Angelika watched her mother work full time and conquer school assignments. Angelika helped care for her teenage brother with autism while completing her own coursework.

Angelika, who is a certified make-up artist, has plans to continue her education by earning a certificate in cosmetology and becoming a licensed esthetician, and one day opening her own spa. She has already found some success on social media as an influencer for makeup artistry and cosplay.

Her inspiration, of course, is her mother. “She is my life coach and my success coach. She’s always been my rock,” Angelika said.

Dallas College will host six commencement ceremonies over three days from May 9-11. More than 10,000 students have applied for graduation, officials said.

Graduation Ceremony Dates and Times:

  • Thursday, May 9 - 6 p.m.
  • Friday, May 10 - 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. 
  • Saturday, May 11 - 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Culwell Center is located at 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd. in Garland.

Each ceremony will feature a student speaker, sharing their stories of adversity and triumph. Read about this year’s speakers.

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