Those about to graduate need to get process started now

Students planning to graduate in May still have time to see their names in the commencement program for this year’s ceremony — if they apply soon. Those who have not applied for May graduation should do so immediately, said Barbara Gowdy, Graduation Services director.

“If you have your application in before spring break, your name will be in the commencement program,” Gowdy said.

However, she said, students anticipating graduation should apply earlier than the middle of their last semester. Ideally, students should apply for graduation the semester before they plan to finish their coursework.

Student Jamie Paddock already has applied for graduation.

“I did know that you had to apply for graduation,” she said. Paddock is getting her associate degree in business.

Some students are unaware they have to fill out the graduation application early if they want their name in the commencement program.

Even though the deadline to apply has passed for this semester, Gowdy seems to be pretty relaxed.

“We usually try to get anybody we have in [the commencement program] before spring break, but they go to print early, so if you haven’t applied by then, your name won’t be in the program,” she said.

Not being named in the program will not prevent a student from participating in the graduation ceremony.

“We take [applications] until the last day of the semester,” Gowdy said.

Students in need of a graduation application can find them online at the Graduation and Records page on OCCC’s website. Applications also can be picked up in the graduation office on the first floor of the Main Building.

Applications must be submitted in person to the graduation office.

OCCC hosts one commencement ceremony each year. This year’s will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Cox Convention Center.

To contact Amy Miller, email

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