Northeastern University College of Professional Studies graduates largest class to date

Graduation speaker Josh Kraft, leader of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, inspires with message of hope and volunteerism


On Saturday, April 21, 2012, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies (CPS) celebrated its spring 2012 graduation at Matthews Arena, located on the University’s campus. The college conferred 961 degrees, the largest number in the College’s history.

“The increased number of graduates is the result of the College’s commitment to providing career-advancing professional graduate degrees for working adults,” commented John LaBrie, Dean, College of Professional Studies. “The continuing demand for the innovative graduate and doctoral degrees launched by the College in recent years is reflected in the growth of applicants, enrollments and successful alumni.”

Dean LaBrie, leading the first College of Professional Studies graduation since he was appointed dean in January 2012, welcomed a group of over 3,000 people comprised of graduates, families and friends, staff and faculty, administration leaders, Stephen W. Director, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and graduation speaker Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

The College awarded 17 associate, 283 bachelor’s, 621 master’s, and 40 doctoral degrees. Many of the graduates represent 10 degree programs established by the College between 2005-2008 including the Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics and Medical Devices and Doctor of Education. This is the second time the College of Professional Studies has conferred its Doctor of Education degree (EdD). The first cohort of Doctor of Education students graduated in September 2011.

Graduates pursued degrees in a variety of formats – in on-campus courses, online, and a format called hybrid, in which teaching, learning and coursework are conducted both on campus and online. The College holds graduation twice a year to reflect the flexible 12-month academic schedule of CPS and its students. Many CPS students continue to work full or part-time while they pursue degrees full or part-time.

Graduation speaker, Josh Kraft, advocate for children, educator and leader in the city of Boston, gave the graduation address, offering insights from his leadership view of youth development and urban education and their critical role in our society.

Kraft connected the philosophy and mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston with its emphasis on the resilence of children and youth to the mission of CPS saying, “For 52 years, opportunity and hope have been alive at CPS.”

At the ceremony, the College announced the recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award — Dr. Kristen Lee Costa, a faculty member teaching master’s and doctoral-level courses, and Dr. Amy Lantinga, a faculty member in Northeastern’s Foundation Year program, a first-year college program for City of Boston high school graduates. The College annually recognizes two members of the faculty with the Teaching Excellence Award which is described this way: “for demonstrating especially high intellectual standards in terms of course content, rigor, and integration of the best scholarship. Excellence in teaching also is defined as making effective and inspiring links between teaching and practice and/or experiential learning, employing effective teaching strategies that encourage students to participate in the teaching-learning process.”

More about graduation

To read about Teaching Excellence Award recipient, Dr. Kristen Lee Costa, visit Dr. Kristen Lee Costa honored with Teaching Excellence Award for depth of knowledge and engaging teaching style.

To read about Teaching Excellence Award recipient, Dr. Amy Lantinga, visit Dr. Amy Lantinga honored with Teaching Excellence Award for focus on student success.

To read about the Compass Award, visit CPS 2012 Compass Award recipient, Christina McMahon, demonstrates leadership in every line of work.  

To read about the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, the first phase of the celebration of the completion of doctoral studies, visit Northeastern University’s Newest Doctorates Receive Doctoral Hoods in Ceremony.

The College of Professional Studies celebrates two graduations, fall and spring, in keeping with the College’s flexible approach to education offering an array of options to students including part-time and full-time studies, Fast-Track, online, and hybrid formats. Graduates earned diplomas in 61 different degree programs at the associate, bachelor, master’s, and doctoral levels.

To learn more about graduation, visit:

Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence.

Northeastern University is a global university with a tradition of partnership and engagement that creates an innovative, distinctive approach to education and research. Northeastern integrates classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities in 70 countries, and pursues use-inspired research with a focus on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability.