SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Allan Hancock College saw record numbers in their 99th graduating class this year.
The college say a total of 1,888 students graduated as part of the college's class of 2020.
This year, the 1,888 students also earned a record number of 2,207 associate degrees.
The college says the number of student graduates increased by 48 percent from the previous year. The number of degrees earned saw an increase of 23 percent.
Students also earned 850 certificates of achievement this year.
The college attribute this increase to an automatic degree and certificate awarding program that was rolled out earlier this year.
The program allowed some Hancock students to automatically receive a degree if they satisfy all academic and credit requirements. Previously, those students had to apply for the degrees and certificates.
The college say back in spring 2020, a total of 535 students were automatically awarded degrees through the new program.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the college was unable to hold a commencement ceremony in person but the Superintendent/President Kevin Walthers marked the occasion with a video address.
Hancock Associated Student Body Government President Tyler Little, who is a part of the record breaking graduating class, say that despite the strange and challenging time, the graduates should look at their accomplishment and be proud that they did not only attain their goals of graduating but did so in one of the most difficult circumstances.
Little also adds how it was a joint effort from students, teachers, staff and administrators that helped the graduating class reach their goals. He says the graduating class is an example of success despite the many obstacles thrown at them.
The college plans to hold the in-person ceremony in August.
For information and updates on what Hancock plans to do for commencement, click here.