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FAQS about Commencement

What is the difference between graduation and the Commencement Ceremony?

Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree. All students wishing to graduate must submit a Degree Plan Request Form prior to the end of your final semester. By submitting this request form the college will determine whether or not you have met all of your degree requirements.

Commencement is the ceremony that is held at the end of the spring semester in May. This ceremony celebrates the achievement of the degree, and graduates are recognized by the college, community members, family and friends.

At which times of year can I participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

There is only one Commencement Ceremony held each year, in May.

Is there a cost to participate or for guests to attend the Commencement Ceremony? Is there a cost for regalia to be worn at the ceremony?

There is no cost for you or your guests to attend the Commencement Ceremony.  

Graduation regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) is required to be worn by graduates during the ceremony and is available for purchase at the campus bookstore. Cap, gown, and tassel packages are $34.15, individual tassels are $5, and honor stoles are $24.95. Prices listed do not include sales tax. For other prices and available items, please stop by the bookstore.

What do I do if I need special accommodations for the Commencement Ceremony?

If participants or guests are in need of accommodations at the ceremony, please contact the Disability Services Office for assistance.

Can I decorate my cap?

Using the following guidelines, decorating the top of your cap is permitted. Please remember that the commencement ceremony is a formal event and all attire worn during the ceremony should be respectful to all students, parents, staff, faculty, and visitors. Decorations with lights of any kind, pieces that stick out away from the cap or 3D pieces are not allowed. The decorations must be flat on the top of the cap and not visible from the sides of the cap. Caps should not be offensive, distracting, or obstruct anyone's view of the ceremony. Caps that may be construed as not meeting these guidelines will be removed by North Lake staff prior to the ceremony and the student will need to provide an appropriate cap in order to participate in the ceremony.

Am I considered a graduate if I participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

No. You must complete the coursework and hours necessary to be considered a graduate. Your participation or attendance at the Commencement Ceremony does not mean that you have completed your degree requirements.

Can I still participate in the Commencement Ceremony if I know I did not pass one or more classes during the semester of graduation?

Yes. As long as you are six (6) credit hours or less away from completing your degree/certificate, you may participate in the spring Commencement Ceremony.

Do I receive my diploma during the Commencement Ceremony?

No. You will receive a diploma cover. Remember, your participation or attendance at the Commencement Ceremony does not mean that you have completed your degree requirements.

How long will it take for me to receive my diploma?

Final processing for graduation takes place within four weeks after the close of each semester. This timeframe may vary due to holidays, college closings, or the short summer semesters. An email will be sent to you when your diploma and/or certificate are ready for pick up. Special considerations for the delivery of your diploma or certificate must be emailed to your degree audit representative.