Everything Students Need for WCCC Graduation

| By Katie Thompson |

As graduation approaches, students scramble to gather their cap and gown, transcripts, completed transfer applications, and wits- but what exactly do WCCC students need for graduation? How should a student prepare for graduation, whether they plan to attend the actual ceremony or not? More importantly, where can a student go when they are unsure of what steps to take next?

grad-picBefore graduation, students must make sure that all of their official transcripts (including transcripts from other colleges or universities) are on record in the WCCC Student Services office. They must make sure that all of their course requirements for any given major has been met. If unsure, students should visit the Student Services office, located on the first floor in room 117. When asked what her advice was for students who plan to graduate this semester, Student Advisor Rose Lynch stated: “the application for graduation form is the most important step a student must take before graduating, and it has to be filled out by the deadline.” The forms are available on the WCCC website or can be picked up at the WCCC Student Services office if, for example, a student misplaced their graduation application form. Lynch also stated that the most-commonly overlooked graduation-preparation step is the form students need to fill out and submit in order to apply to graduate.

Whether planning on walking in cap and gown to receive a diploma or skipping the formalities and picking up your diploma at the Student Services office, students must fill out the application for graduation form prior to graduating. Filling out the graduation form in a timely manner is highly recommended. The graduation request form doubles as the order form for the cap and gown; so if a student wishes to walk at graduation they must fill out the bottom portion of the form, which is related to sizing individual caps and gowns. Caps and gowns are free to graduates, but there may be a fee-charged to cover the cost of shipment if a student decides to walk after the list has been given to the bookstore for orders. Students who do not walk will be notified via email when to pick up their diplomas in the Student Services Office.

The graduation application is just the first step in a graduate’s to-do list. Once a student fills out the form for graduation, they must pick up their caps and gowns from the window in front of the school store, Wednesday, May 18th through Friday, May 20th. Graduation rehearsal is held at the college in “the bowl,” otherwise known as the sunken area of grass behind the college on Thursday, May 19th, at either 2 or 6 pm. The graduation ceremony will take place, rain or shine, under the graduation tent outside of the college in “the bowl.” The WCCC website advises graduates not to plan on bringing personal belongings and leaving them in the classroom during graduation. Graduates should leave belongings with guests or in the car, except sunglasses, which may be useful when waiting to receive a diploma.

Speaking of guests, a student can have any number of guests attend their graduation ceremony. Guests do not have to pay for admittance, but should come early to get desirable seating. The Graduation Ceremony is opened with the playing of a bagpipe, followed by the Grand Marshall’s speech and the national anthem, which begins the many speeches that precede the calling of graduates’ names and handing out of diplomas. Diplomas are given out by the President of the college, Dr. William Austin. The handing out of diplomas is followed by the traditional switching of tassels to the other side of their caps. The switching of tassels signifies the completion of a degree.
Students at WCCC are feeling nostalgic towards the school and their classmates. Jack Pierone, a creative writing major graduate said: “for some people, it’s the end game [graduating], and for me it’s just a stop along the way, but it’s hard not to get sentimental about leaving my friends.” Student government member, Savannah Murphy agreed that graduating is a stepping stone in her academic career, stating: “Although it is just a step to a four year college, it means a lot to me to graduate with friends and people I studied with. My senior year of high school I moved, so graduation wasn’t that special to me then.” Although some students will find work after graduation and some will continue their education elsewhere, they all seem like they will miss WCCC when they are gone.

Many graduates seem to feel that leaving WCCC is bittersweet—receiving a diploma warrants a feeling of accomplishment, but leaving behind the classmates and teachers that make WCCC so inviting is sad. Student government member and editor of Ars Poetica literary magazine, Abe Rexrode, said that he is both “excited and sad to leave Warren County after nine years.” Rexrode has actually already received a diploma from WCCC, but he returned to WCCC after graduating once to earn a second associate’s degree. Rexrode stated that he did not walk last year, but this year he plans to because it is his last. All three of these students plan to continue their education at a four-year school.
Whether or not students plan to join the work force, take part in an internship, or continue their education elsewhere, they should not discount the work put into graduating WCCC. Graduates should remember to walk with pride as their names are called to receive their diploma; the piece of paper that marks the completion of learning to navigate the halls of WCCC, writing numerous late-night research papers, and successfully checking off everything on the pre-graduation list.

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