Students should apply for graduation now

December 2, 2011 Latest Print Print

Students planning to graduate in May need to apply for graduation now, said Liz Largent, dean of Student Development.

Like many students, Justin Noel, an OCCC sophomore, said he was not aware that he would have to apply for graduation. He thought the process was a given, and happened for everyone.

Even if a student has completed all the coursework for a degree, the degree will only be granted if the student applies to graduate, Largent said.

She said the best advice she could give to students is to apply early for graduation.


Applying for graduation once you have 35 to 40 hours, Largent said, or a full semester and a half before you need to graduate, is the best way to ensure that you are on the right track to graduate when you intend to.

“The most common task of an academic adviser, for the purposes of graduation, is to guide students through the right courses that they need to take in order to be on the right track to graduate in whatever degree they are looking to obtain,” Largent said.

Graduation Services Director Barbara Gowdy said the official deadline for graduation applications to be turned in is the third week of the semester students are wanting to graduate in. For graduation in May, this would be Feb. 10.

“Although the deadline for graduation applications is the third week of the semester the students plan to graduate in, the graduation office never turns people away,” Gowdy said.

However, if students wait too long to apply, they may not see their names in the graduation program for the May ceremony.

Miguel Garcia, a student at OCCC, said that he is on schedule to graduate.

Garcia said he always goes to academic advisement before enrolling and they always give him more insight on the steps he is supposed to take.

“I do not know that much about the graduation process,” he said.

“College is a lot different than high school and I know there are certain classes that are required for your major in order to graduate on time,” Garcia said. “Academic advisers make the process of graduation make more sense.”

There are three graduations a year — summer, fall and spring — but only one commencement ceremony is held, in May.

If students want to be sure their name will be in the program, they have to apply by the deadline.

Both Largent and Gowdy urge students to have all their transcripts turned in if they are taking classes at other schools.

For more information, contact Gowdy at 405-682-1611, ext. 7528, or email Largent can be reached at 405-682-1611, ext. 7834, or by emailing

In addition, a graduation application can be filled out online by visiting and selecting “graduation application” from the left side of the screen.

To contact Madison Marquardt, email

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