Graduation Checklist

Southwestern Community College grants degrees, diplomas, and certificates to those students who successfully complete programs offered by the college.  Students must maintain a 2.00 grade point average on all applicable work (nursing students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all courses).  All requirements of the chosen program must be satisfied, although adjustments may be made when program curriculum has changed and courses are no longer available.  Please refer to the current college catalog for requirements for your program.

Commencement Dates

Spring commencement

Friday, May 9, 2014, 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center Gymnasium

Students who graduate between December and May are invited to participate in the spring commencement ceremony.

Summer commencement

Friday, June 27, 2014, 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center Gymnasium

Students who graduate any time during the summer are invited to participate in the summer commencement ceremony.

There is no charge to participate in the commencement ceremony, and participation is voluntary.

Application for Graduation and Commencement Participation

A candidate for graduation must complete an online Graduation Application in order to receive a degree or diploma.   If you wish to participate in commencement exercises, your gown is also ordered on this form.  The deadline to file a Graduation Application is:

Fall—September 27

Spring—February 7

Summer—February 7 (if enrolled during spring semester) or May 16

If you submit a graduation application and later find that requirements will not be met for the term indicated on the form, you must contact the Registrar’s Office and submit another application for the term when you expect to complete requirements.

Below is a checklist of the graduation process.  Following the checklist is a more detailed explanation of the procedures.

Final Graduation Checklist:

During registration of classes for final semester

  • Meet with advisor and request a degree audit to make sure requirements will be met
  • Complete online graduation application

Final semester

Order graduation announcements through the SWCC Bookstore if you wish

Deadline for spring graduates – end of first week in April

Deadline for summer graduates – end of first week of summer session

  • Watch for e-mail listing of prospective graduates and check to make sure that information is correct.
  • Complete Financial Aid Direct Loan Exit Questionnaire at (if applicable).

Last four weeks of final semester

  • Complete resume and check out available jobs at Career Services if applicable
  • Complete COMPASS Post Test if applicable

Last two weeks of final semester

  • Pick up and pay for graduation announcements at SWCC Bookstore if you placed an order.  The bookstore will be closed June 25 & 26.
  • Make sure student account is paid in full, including any library, parking, and dormitory fines
  • Return all books, equipment, or materials to proper department
  • Request final official transcripts from registrar’s office.  All accounts with the college must be paid.


  • Pick up cap and gown in registrar’s office
  • Pick up diploma/degree cover at commencement ceremony, attend reception


  • Registrar’s Office finalizes grades and graduation status and applies degrees to transcripts.  Graduates receive degree/diploma inserts in mail within six weeks
  • Order commencement photographs if you wish
  • Fill out Graduate Follow-up Placement Student Satisfaction Survey in November following graduation and return to Career Services
  • Keep in touch with Alumni Office and classmates

Student Loan Information

Federal regulations require that all students borrowing Direct Student Loans must complete an online loan exit questionnaire at prior to graduation.  You need your PIN number to complete the online exit questionnaire.  If you no longer have your original PIN, apply for a new PIN at


All Career Technical students must complete a COMPASS assessment post-test which is designed to measure academic improvement and is required prior to graduation.  The assessment center will notify your instructor during the last half of your final semester regarding completing the test. 

Caps and Gowns/Commencement

Caps and gowns may be picked up from the Registrar’s Office beginning Tuesday of commencement week during regular office hours.  Evening or off-campus students may pick up gowns between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. of the evening of commencement.  Students will meet in room 220 at 6:45 on commencement day.  Please dress appropriately.  Your cap should be worn squarely on the head (not tilted back) with the tassel on the right side.  You will receive instructions regarding the processional order and procedures at this time.

Any student or guest requiring accommodations to attend commencement should contact the director of student development at 641.782.1458.

Commencement Photographs

Graduates will be photographed by a professional photographer as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas and later will receive their proofs along with an order form of packages offered.  Students will be notified via e-mail when photos are available on the photographer's Web site.  Students may place orders if they wish.

Commencement Reception

Following commencement, a reception will be held for the graduates.  All students, family members, and friends are invited to attend.


Degree/diploma covers will be presented to the graduates during commencement.  Inserts will be mailed to the student’s permanent address after the Registrar’s office finalizes grades and graduation status and applies degrees to transcripts. Make sure that your correct permanent address is on file.  Please allow six weeks for mailing.

Publication of Graduates’ Names

Students who complete requirements for graduation shall have their names listed on the commencement program and released to area and hometown newspapers for publication following commencement.

Career Services/Graduate Satisfaction Survey

Services are available to you, both as a student and alumni in the areas of job search planning, resumes, or other career-related concerns.

The Career Services Office compiles a Graduate Satisfaction Survey Report on an annual basis.  Information from this report is utilized to ensure that our programs are current, meet employment and educational needs, and maintain current industry standards and identify employment/education trends.  You will receive a Graduate Placement Satisfaction Survey in late November following graduation.  Please complete and return to Career Services as soon as possible.

Alumni Office

The alumni office strives to remain in contact and provide services to alumni.  We appreciate the opportunity to keep graduates connected to the college, your friends, and your faculty.  The alumni office also provides scholarships and grants to deserving SWCC students through annual fund-raising activities.  Visit SWCC’s alumni page or call 641.782.1455.