FAQs about Commencement

When and where does Commencement take place?

It is traditionally held on the last Friday of May in the college gymnasium.  This year's ceremony will take place on Friday, May 30, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in an open setting on the NVC Green 2014 (the green lawn in front of the 2000 Life Science Building).  Please dress appropriately as the temperatures will drop as the evening progresses.

What time does the Commencement Ceremony start?

The procession and the program officially starts at 6:00 p.m.  The ceremony should end by 7:45 or so.  Seating for guests will begin at 4:30 p.m. 

Who is eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

Only students who have completed their course work from the previous summer 2013 and fall 2013 semesters, as well as those graduating in the spring 2014.  Students graduating in the coming summer 2014 will be invited to next year's graduation--not this year. 

How many students participate in the ceremony?

Approximately 200-250 graduates participate in the commencement ceremony each year.

Do students get a graduation information packet mailed to them?

No, all communications regarding graduation are emailed to the graduates, so it is critical that we have a valid email address for each graduate.  The first communication will be sent to graduates during the first week of April 2014.  Continue checking the Commencement website for up-to-date information.

Where can I obtain a cap and gown and what is the cost?

The caps and gown used to be purchased at the NVC Bookstore for $26.75.  The cap and gown attire is not required; however, most graduates do wear one.  Please contact the NVC Bookstore directly for their exact hours of operation.  For Honor cords, please refer to the Academic Regalia

Are graduating students given tickets for their guests?

No, this year we will not be issuing tickets to the graduates for their guests due to the new location for the ceremony.  Yet seating for guests is limited, so we ask graduates to limit their guests to 6-8.  

Do graduates need to RSVP to participate in Commencement?

Yes, students who plan to participate in the commencement ceremony will need to fill out an online RSVP form starting early May; deadline to RSVP will be published later.  It is critical that we have an accurate count of graduates, so that we have sufficient seats reserved for all participating graduates and so that we can prepare your tickets. 

Can I get a Graduate Information Card?

The Graduate Information Card will be distributed to graduates before the morning rehearsal on May 30, so that graduates can fill it out and have it ready for when they go up the stage during the practice.  The card will be collected from each graduate at the rehearsal and will be picked up in the evening by each graduate when they arrive to check-in and line up.

Graduates who cannot attend the rehearsal can pick up a card from the Office of Student Services or they just need to arrive by 5:00 p.m. in the evening to obtain one from the Graduate Check-in table (location to be determined).  This will give you enough time to fill out the card and have it checked prior to lining up with the rest of the graduates.  All graduates must have a fully completed card in their hands as they walk to the stage.  Names are read from this card--not from the program.

Do graduates need to Check-in the evening of Commencement?

Yes, all graduates MUST stop at the Graduate Check-In Table (location to be determined) at 5:00 p.m., prior to lining up with the other graduates, to pick up a program book, and your “Graduate Information Card”.  Your name will be read from this card--not from the program.

The information card will be the only item graduates will have on their hands when they walk up the stage to receive their diploma cover.

If graduates can't/don't attend rehearsal, can they still attend the ceremony?

Yes.  The graduation rehearsal is not mandatory; however, it is strongly recommended for students to attend the rehearsal (about 1.5 hrs but could be up to 2 hrs), so that they understand exactly where to check-in in the evening, how they will line up, how they will proceed and which side they will be sitting.   The more students we have participating in the rehearsal, the smoother the ceremony will run in the evening. 

The rehearsal also gives students the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.  

How do students petition for graduation?

Students must petition for degrees by a specified date in the semester prior to the term they anticipate to graduate.  Check the Graduation section under the Admissions & Records page for details on how to petition for graduation.

When are diplomas mailed out to graduates?

Diplomas are mailed in October to all graduates, even if you do not participate in the ceremony.  If your address changes before then or if you have other questions regarding your diploma, please call the Admissions and Records Office at (707) 256-7207.