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Surgical Technology holds first AAS pinning ceremony; Program achieves 100% pass rate, 100% hiring rate

Robeson Community College held its first pinning ceremony for the Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology program today. 

Surgical Tech had been offered as a diploma program since 2007 at the college, but this was the first graduating class to receive the full degree.

“The accrediting body made it a requirement for all surgical programs to transition over to the degree program by the fall of 2022,” stated Raetta Coleman, the director of the surgical technology program.  

The associate program at RCC was established in August 2021, well ahead of the deadline, and the first cohorts completed their program of study this past December.

“This is the inaugural class,” stated Coleman. “The students all passed the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) and have found employment with hospitals in North and South Carolina, with some sharing they had starting pay as high as $28 per hour.”

During the ceremony, the students were pinned and their accomplishments were celebrated. 

“This was an excellent group,” Coleman said. “As students, they were required to do clinical rotations in various surgical specialties. Each student had scrubbed over 130 surgeries, the requirement is 120. One student hit almost the 200 mark.”

In all, eight students were pinned during the ceremony, each becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist. They are Emilee Britt, Christina Dickerson, Darel Fairly, Julie Gutierrez-Cruz, Joy Young Jackson, Jayla Malloy, Ana Vazquez, and Cherish Young. 

“We are so proud of all of you,” stated RCC President Melissa Singler. “This is a great accomplishment and an important rite of passage that you have all earned.”

“We wish you all the best in your future endeavors,” Singler said. “We know you will all go on to do great things with your life.”

For more information on the surgical technology program, please contact Raetta Coleman, the program director at 910-272-3660 or Information can also be found online at

Photos by Courtney Jacobs.


Group picture above, from left to right: Raetta Coleman, BAS, FAST, CST program director,
Darel Fairly, Christina Dickerson, Jayla Malloy, Emilee Britt, Ana Vazquez, Julie Gutierrez-Cruz, Joy Young Jackson, Cherish Young, and Kristin Collins AAS, CST,  Clinical Coordinator

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Surgical Technology Pinning 2023