FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMENCEMENT AND GRADUATION?
The word “Commencement” refers to the official ceremony that recognizes students’ academic accomplishments with College faculty, administration, trustees, and staff, as well as with students’ friends and family. Students who are close to completing their degree requirements are invited to participate in this ceremony. However, participation in the ceremony does not mean that the student has graduated, nor will students who participate in Commencement receive their official diploma during the ceremony.
“Graduation” is the term that refers to the formal completion of a five-step process, to qualify for a degree or certificate, you must be:
- Matriculated and have completed all course requirements for the degree or certificate program with a minimum GPA of 2.00
- Satisfied all financial obligations at the time of graduation
- Earned at least 50% of the degree or certificate at the College
- Been recommended by the faculty for the degree
- Ready to apply for graduation in myCayuga at least one semester before graduation
The Registrar’s Office formally certifies each degree once all the criteria listed above are completed. After the degrees are certified, the Registrar’s Office will send a postcard to all May graduates in June, and Summer graduates in August, December graduates in January and January graduates in February. The postcards will explain when and where you can pick up your official diploma.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Students completing a degree and/or certificate requirements in December, May, August, and January are eligible to participate in Commencement. Students who have reached 30 credits (institutional and transfer) and have a minimum 1.75 GPA will be able to apply for graduation through the online student portal, MyCayuga.
HOW CAN I REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES?
Students who have reached 30 credits (institutional and transfer) and have a minimum 1.75 GPA will be able to apply for graduation through the online student portal, MyCayuga.
- Log into MyCayuga
- Click the Student Services tab
- Click the Student Records link
- Click the Apply to Graduate link
- Select a term to determine the curriculum for graduation application
- Select the curriculum and continue
- Select the graduation date and continue
- Select ceremony attendance and continue
- Review diploma name and continue
- Review graduation application summary and submit the request
Questions? Contact the Registrar’s Office.
HOW DO I ORDER AND PICKUP MY CAP AND GOWN?
- Cap and gown orders can be placed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Orders can be placed from February 7, through March 25.
- There is no expense to the prospective graduate for the regalia if the order is placed before Friday, March 25. Students who order after that date will be charged a $10 late fee.
- The following information will be needed at the time of order:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Approximate height and weight
- The campus where they would like to pick up the cap and gown
- Auburn Campus: Caps and gowns may be picked up at the College Bookstore between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, May 9 through Thursday, May 12, or at the Bookstore on Friday, May 13 from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Fulton Campus: Caps and gowns may be picked up at the Fulton Campus College Bookstore between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, May 9 through Wednesday, May 11, or at the Auburn Campus Bookstore on Friday, May 13 from 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
DO I HAVE TO ATTEND THE REHEARSAL IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMENCEMENT?
All candidates are strongly encouraged to attend. The rehearsal will be held at 11 a.m. on the Friday before Commencement in the Spartan Hall Gymnasium. Rehearsal will take approximately one and a half hours.
To ensure an orderly and efficient ceremony, graduates will learn where they stand in the procession and what chairs they will be seated in for the ceremony. They will also see the layout of the gymnasium, walk the processional route, and get directions on how they will cross the stage to receive their diploma covers from the President.
Fulton Campus students – Transportation to and from the Fulton Campus for the rehearsal will be provided based on student interest. Should there not be enough interest students are encouraged to ride-share.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE AT THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY?
Graduates should arrive no later than 9:30 am to check-in and fill out an alumni survey. The traditional candidate academic procession will form in the north wing of the Main Building beginning at 10:55 am, and get underway slightly before 11 am.
The Commencement ceremony will begin promptly at 11 am in the Spartan Hall Gymnasium.
WILL I RECEIVE MY DIPLOMA AT COMMENCEMENT?
No. Commencement ceremony participants will receive diploma covers. Non-participants may purchase diploma covers at the College Bookstore.
The Registrar’s Office will mail postcards to all May, Summer, December, and January graduates who fulfilled all the criteria for degree completion. The postcards will explain when and where you can pick up your official diploma. If you have any questions or do not receive the postcard, contact the Registrar’s Office on the Auburn or Fulton Campus.
DO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS NEED TICKETS TO ATTEND COMMENCEMENT?
No. Tickets are not required to attend Commencement. There is no limit on the number of guests per graduate. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests who prefer air-conditioned seating can watch the ceremony via live video feed in the Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theatre at the College. The Commencement ceremony will also be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable Channel 12 in Auburn.
WHERE IS PARKING AVAILABLE FOR COMMENCEMENT?
Parking is available on the Auburn Campus lots. However, no parking is allowed in the circular drive near the front entrance. Cars must be parked in compliance with existing signs and markings.
DO YOU OFFER SPECIAL SEATING AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
Yes. If family members or other guests have a need for limited mobility access, contact Patti Hamberger at 315-294-8516, or email@example.com, as soon as possible so that we can be sure to accommodate them.
Special requests for students with disabilities for the Commencement ceremony should be made to Karen Grella by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT COMMENCEMENT?
Contact Patti Hamberger at 315-294-8516, or email@example.com.