As with most educational institutions, COVID-19 changed the way classes were taught, interaction with students and the thought of how graduation would take place. In March, NCK Tech started to take steps to replace the traditional commencement exercise. NCK Tech administration and staff began to put a plan into action. The first step was to get student input. Even though there were many ideas, one overwhelming theme dominated and that was the students wanted to feel like they could be together and still celebrate one another.
Graduation kits were sent to all graduates. These "graduation kits" included commencement regalia (cap, gown, tassel), honors cords, leadership cords, a letter from the President, Eric Burks, and yard signs to place in their yards or at their homes. Within the letter was a congratulations for completing their program successfully and then the process for submitting a photo.
"Graduation is a huge point of pride for our entire institution," commented Jayme Owen, Dean of Student Success. "It is a great accomplishment to start a program and to complete the program, let alone during a world-wide pandemic. It was important to honor our students and be able to let them show pride in their program." Once students received their graduation kits, the response from students was very positive. Photos and comments from students were being submitted. During this time, faculty were recording messages to be included in commencement video.