General Graduation Information

2024 Graduation Information

The 2024 Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 10, 2024, in the Student Center gymnasium.

The ceremonies will be held at the following times:

Friday, May 10, 2024

  • 4 p.m. - Licensed Practical Nursing Commencement and Lamplighting Recognition and Associate Degree Nursing Commencement and Pinning Ceremony
  • 7 p.m. - Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Arts and Sciences (college transfer) Commencement Ceremony

Doors for the ceremonies will open one hour prior to the event to allow for seating of family and friends.

Graduates from fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 are invited to participate. The graduation application is located on the SWCCyou app. Once logged in, go to the "Students" tab and click on "Forms."

Continue to watch this page for additional information!

Commencement Ceremonies

Southwestern's commencement ceremony is held on the last day of the spring semester in the Student Center gymnasium at the Creston campus. Students who complete requirements in December, May, or at any time during the summer of the current academic year are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony. There is no charge to participate in the commencement ceremony. To see graduation dates, please refer to the academic calendar.

In order to ensure that you successfully meet requirements, and have followed all procedures required in the graduation process, the following information is provided.

Graduation Requirements

Southwestern Community College grants degrees, diplomas, and certificates to those who successfully complete programs offered by the college. Students must maintain a 2.0 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.

Application for Graduation and Commencement Participation

Candidates for graduation must complete the Graduation Application, located on the SWCCyou portal, in order to receive their degree or diploma. Students who plan to participate in the commencement ceremony must indicate their intent on the application for graduation and provide their chest and height measurements (caps are adjustable, so cap size is not necessary). There is no graduation fee. Students who plan to receive more than one degree, diploma, or certificate need to indicate all programs on the form. The deadline to file the Graduation Application is:

  • Fall - Last Friday in September
  • Spring - Last Friday in February
  • Summer - Last Friday in February

If you find you will not be completing requirements for the term indicated on your application for graduation, please contact the registrar's office at 641.782.1422 and submit another graduation application for the term in which your requirements will be met.

Graduation Checklist

Please review the graduation checklist during your final semester.

Graduation Announcements

Graduation announcements may be ordered through the SWCC Shoppe by the end of the first week in April. Announcements and envelopes must be picked up and paid for within two weeks of ordering.

Student Loan Information

Federal regulations require all students borrowing Direct Student Loans to complete loan exit counseling prior to graduation. Students may complete loan exit counseling online at You need your FSA User ID to complete online exit counseling.

Student Account

Your account must be paid in full by the last day of classes of your last semester of enrollment. This includes any fines you have been assessed by the library, parking, and dormitories. Your transcripts and degree/diploma will not be released unless your account is paid in full.


All borrowed books or other material/equipment must be returned to the library or the proper department before you will be allowed to graduate. All library fines must be paid.

Checkout Of Campus Housing /Mailboxes

If you live on campus, you must check out through the housing supervisor. Please leave a forwarding address for your mail with the registrar's office.

Academic Transcript Requests

To order a transcript, please visit SWCC’s website at

Graduate Satisfaction Survey

A Graduate Satisfaction Survey Report is compiled on an annual basis. The information from this report is utilized to ensure that our programs are current, meet employment and educational needs, and maintain current industry standards as well as identifying employment/educational trends.

Students may complete the SWCC Graduate Satisfaction Survey before picking up caps and gowns. We hope you will give us your opinions about your Southwestern education and tell us about your employment or transfer college. We look forward to hearing from you then!

Commencement Procedures

Meet in the Instructional Center, room 180 an hour prior to the start of the ceremony on commencement day. Please dress in an appropriate manner. Your cap should be worn squarely on your head (NOT tilted back) with the tassel on the right side. You will receive instructions regarding the processional order and the procedures to follow at this time.

Commencement Attire

Commencement attire is dressy casual. Your graduation cap should be placed squarely on your head (not tilted back) with the tassel on the right side.

Caps And Gowns

Caps and gowns may be picked up from the registrar’s office beginning Monday of commencement week during regular office hours. Evening or off-campus students may pick up gowns in room 180 an hour before the ceremony upon arrival for commencement line-up. Your cap should be worn squarely on the head (not tilted back) with the tassel on the right side.

Honor Graduates

Graduates who have a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or above at the end of the fall semester will graduate with honors. You will receive an honor cord with your cap and gown to wear at commencement and this distinction will be noted in the printed commencement program. There is no charge for the honor cord.

Members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society are invited to wear the stoles and tassels designating this honor. Their distinction will be noted in the printed commencement program. You may purchase these items from the PTK website at

Veteran Graduates

Graduates who indicated on their admissions application they were a veteran will receive a red, white, and blue cord with their cap and gown. This distinction will be noted in the printed commencement program.

Accommodations At Commencement

Guests should arrive early to ensure adequate seating, which is available in the bleachers. Limited seating is available in chairs for the elderly or others requiring special accommodations. Graduates/guests requiring accommodations at commencement should contact Deb Pantini, special needs coordinator, at 641.782.1458.

Commencement Photographs

Each graduate will be photographed as you cross the stage to receive your diploma. Graduates will be notified via e-mail when photos are available on the photographer's website. You may place an order if you wish, but there is no obligation to do so.


Following commencement, the faculty and staff of Southwestern Community College will host a reception for our graduates in front of the Student Center. If inclement weather, the reception will be held in the upper portion of the Student Center. All students, family members, and friends are invited to attend.

Publication Of Graduates' Names

Students who complete all requirements for graduation shall have their names listed on the commencement program. Graduates' names will be released to area and hometown newspapers for publication.

Registrar's Office Procedures

Following graduation, the registrar's office will finalize grades and graduation status and apply degrees to transcripts. Please allow six weeks for processing. Any student who does not maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better on all work applicable for their certificate, diploma, or degree will not be eligible to graduate.


Degree/diploma covers will be presented to the graduates during commencement exercises. Inserts will be mailed to your permanent address or the mailing address indicated on your graduation application. Make sure that your correct permanent address is on file in the registrar's office. Please allow six weeks for processing.

Career Services

For career assistance, please visit Career-Related Services.

Alumni Office

The alumni office strives to remain in contact and provide services to alumni. We appreciate the opportunity to keep you connected to your school, your friends and your faculty. The alumni office also provides scholarships and grants to deserving SWCC students through annual fundraising activities.