The virtual world of Second Life has seen a host of experiences over the years, but on June 10th, the first Second Life college graduation will be held on the Second Life campus of the 150 year old Bryant & Stratton College. Approximately 40 graduates ranging in age from 25 to 45 will don their virtual cap and gown to receive their college degrees with all of the pomp and circumstance regularly witnessed in the real world, including the procession, the commencement speaker and the conferring of degrees.
Second Life is an online virtual world where visitors, called Residents, can interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world.
Second Life has a large, active education community—with hundreds of higher education members (the likes of Harvard, MIT, Duke, and Penn State). Many of these forward thinking universities, including Bryant & Stratton, have set up virtual campuses where students can meet, attend classes, and create content together. In fact, recently Bryant & Stratton hosted its first open house to introduce the college to prospective students in the vibrant 3-D environment of Second Life. The school has already reaped the rewards by enrolling one student who came directly from that open house.
Sheri Frost, a mother of four, went online for school and in the process also became engaged in Second Life. On June 10th, she will be one of the Bryant & Stratton graduates receiving her associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies. “Going to school online has fulfilled a long time dream of mine—achieving a degree and setting a good example for my children. To cap off the online education experience with a virtual graduation, with my family by my side, will be extremely rewarding.”
The Bryant & Stratton Second Life graduation will only be open to graduates and their families. However, the school has built a viewing area for people to explore the Second Life experience at http://online.bryantstratton.edu/slgraduation.