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Graduation and Commencement

Fall 2021 Commencement Scheduled to be In-person December 16, 2021

HCC recognizes that graduation is an incredible accomplishment and festive time for graduates and their loved ones. We are pleased to announce that the Fall 2021 Commencement Ceremony will be in-person with COVID-19 protocols to safely celebrate.

Be sure to read all the next steps and guide below to prepare for graduation and the Commencement Ceremony. Also, please continue to monitor this webpage for the most up-to-date information about graduation and commencement. 

 

Commencement Details and Updates

Commencement Ceremony At-A-Glance Details

  • Date: Thursday, December 16, 2021

  • Location: NRG Arena (1 NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054)

  • Time: There will be a morning and afternoon ceremony 
    • Morning Ceremony: 9 am 
    • Afternoon Ceremony: 2 pm
    • Graduates will only be able to attend the ceremony they registered to attend. 

  • For Whom: Summer & Fall 2021 graduates only

  • Guests: Graduates will be able to invite up to five guests to the Commencement ceremony. 

  • COVID-19 Protocols: Please see below.

  • Live Stream: On the day of the ceremony, please visit this page (www.hccs.edu/graduation) to watch live stream of the ceremonies. 

 

Commencement Registration Closed: Options for those that Missed the Deadline

Houston Community College realizes that commencement is one of the most important days in the lives of our students. Due to the COVID-19 status in Harris County at the beginning of the Fall semester, we planned a Fall Commencement Ceremony with limited capacity. This was the only way we could ensure the safety and health of our students, their families, our faculty and other guests.

Based on the limited capacity, registration for the Commencement Ceremony closed on November 19 at 11:59 pm. Unfortunately, at this time, only graduates who registered Commencement by November 19 will be able to participate in the ceremony.

Ideally, we would afford every student the opportunity to have a face-to-face ceremony to mark such an important and memorable milestone. However, commencement ceremonies involving over 3,000 approved graduates and their guests are a major production and require a venue, setup staff, staging and lighting arrangements, guest services and security personnel, and more. As such, planning begins at the start of each semester (August and January) and the ability to adjust plans are limited.

Although limited capacity and COVID-19 protocols were communicated during the Commencement registration process, we understand that not being able to attend the Commencement Ceremony is disappointing. All is not lost, however. Our Summer and Fall 2021 graduates will still have the opportunity to be recognized and celebrated.  

  • Have Degrees Reflected on Transcript and Diplomas Mailed | Graduation means that if you complete all the academic program requirements, you will receive your diploma and have it reflected on your transcript. Commencement is the event to celebrate your accomplishment. Graduates who are unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony will still receive a diploma and have their degree/certificate reflected on transcripts once it’s confirmed that they have completed all the academic program requirements.

  • Walk in Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremony | Students who missed the deadline for Fall Commencement ceremony will be able to walk across the stage during the Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremony. Details will be provided about the ceremony next soon.

  • Participate in Official Fall 2021 Graduation Celebration Events | Students approved to graduate for Summer and Fall 2021 have awesome options to celebrate their achievement during the grad events. Please click here to view events.

 

Ways to Celebrate | Grad Events and Congratulatory Messages

  • Attend Official Graduation Events | Join us in celebrating the Summer and Fall 2021 graduates during Official Grad Party and Events hosted by Student Life. Click here to register
     
  • Share Accomplishments on Social Media | Share your incredible achievement with your friends and family via social media by using the official HCC Graduation hashtag, #HCCFallGrad2021

  • Special Messages to Grads | To acknowledge the hard work of our graduates, the Office of Student Life created a Kudos Board for Faculty and Staff to leave their congratulatory messages and remarks. Click here to view or add special messages.

 

Commencement Ceremony COVID-19 Protocol

Traffic Management
There will be a morning and afternoon ceremony to mitigate traffic.

Graduates will be allowed to have five individual guests who can attend the Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will be live-streamed so graduates can invite other loved ones to celebrate them virtually. 
 
Safe Distance
There will be three feet between isles and three feet between chairs. 
 
Shared Commitment to Safety
Houston Community College is following safety guidelines, CDC recommended protocols, and much more. Safely celebrating our graduates will be a shared commitment to take all the necessary precautions. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, we strongly encourage and recommend you pledge to protect yourself and others.
  • Washing your hands
  • Wearing a mask (not mandatory but recommended), and
  • Staying home if you feel sick.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare for Graduation & Commencement

Difference Between Graduation and Commencement

Graduation means that if you complete all the academic program requirements, you will receive your diploma and have it reflected on your transcript. Commencement is the event to celebrate your accomplishment.

 

Important Dates for Graduation and Commencement


Deadline Passed to Apply for Graduation and Register for Commencement 


In order to participate in the Fall 2021 Commencement Ceremony, students had to apply for graduation by November 12 and register to participate in the Commencement Ceremony by November 19 at 11:59 pm.  

After November 19

  • Summer and Fall 2021 Graduates who missed the November 19 deadline to register for Commencement Ceremony may still

    • Have Degrees Reflected on Transcript and Diplomas Mailed | Graduation means that if you complete all the academic program requirements, you will receive your diploma and have it reflected on your transcript. Commencement is the event to celebrate your accomplishment. Graduates who are unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony will still receive a diploma and have their degree/certificate reflected on transcripts once it’s confirmed that they have completed all the academic program requirements.

    • Participate in Official Graduation Celebration Events | From a celebratory parade to a an Official Grad Party and free giveaways, students approved to graduation have awesome options to celebrate their achievement.

    • Participate in Official Fall 2021 Graduation Celebration Events | Students approved to graduate for Summer and Fall 2021 have awesome options to celebrate their achievement during the grad events. Please click here to view events.


Deadline to Purchase Cap and Gown


The deadline to purchase cap and gown (regalia) online was November 21. 

After November 21, graduates may purchase cap and gowns at the following HCC Bookstore locations: Central, Spring Branch and West Loop. To view locations and hours, please visit the HCC Bookstore website.  


Fall 2021 Commencement Ceremony Date


For Summer and Fall 2021 graduates who registered for Commencement Ceremony by the deadline (November 19), there will be a morning and afternoon in-person Commencement Ceremony held on December 16.

  • Morning Ceremony: 9 am 
  • Afternoon Ceremony: 2 pm
  • Graduates will only be able to attend the ceremony they registered to attend. 


Please view the complete step-by-step guide below for action items and deadlines to apply for graduation, register for commencement, and attend the Commencement Ceremony.

 

5 Graduation and Commencement Steps

Please view the complete step-by-step guide below for action items and deadlines to apply for graduation, register for commencement, and attend the Commencement Ceremony.

 


STEP 1: Academic Advising Session


In order to apply for graduation, you have to meet with an Academic Advisor first. Your Academic Advisor will determine if you have completed all the academic program requirements to be approved to apply for graduation. 

Use the Virtual Lobby webpage to contact the Academic Advisor listed in their student center. 

If you do not know your Assigned Academic Advisor, please go to HCC MyEagle and select Student Sign In. Next, log in and select the Academic Progress tile. Lastly, select the Advisor on the left to view your Assigned Academic Advisor.


STEP 2: Submit Graduation Application


If your Academic Advisor determines you have completed all the academic program requirements to be approved to apply for graduation, your next step is to submit the graduation application.  

In order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, graduates must apply for graduation by:

  • November 12: Fall Commencement Ceremony  
  • April 15: Spring Commencement Ceremony  


You can apply for graduation and check the status of your graduation application online by following the steps below. 

  • Visit HCC MyEagle
  • Select "Student Sign-In tile/box. 
  • Select “Academic Progress” tile/box. 


STEP 3: Register for Fall 2021 Commencement Ceremony (REGISTRATION IS CLOSED)


If you are a Summer or Fall 2021 graduate who applies for graduation by the deadline, you qualify to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

The deadline for Summer and Fall 2021 graduates to register to participate in the Commencement Ceremony was November 19 at 11:59 pm. Registering by the deadline is required in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. 

Students who are approved to graduate will receive an email from MarchingOrder inviting them to register to participate in either the morning or afternoon in-person Commencement Ceremony. Graduates will only be able to attend the ceremony they registered to attend. 

  • Check your preferred email address for the link to register for either the morning or afternoon Commencement Ceremony. The email will have a unique link for students to access their MarchingOrder registration.

    • Based on venue capacity, space is limited for the Fall Commencement Ceremony. Early registration for Commencement is encouraged.  
    • MarchingOrder emails will be sent to your preferred email address every Monday & Thursday October 28 - November 12
      • To check your preferred email address, please visist MyEagle; select "Student Sign-In" tile to login to Student Center; and select the "Profile" tab to view you preferred email address details. 
      • Be sure to check your spam/junk folder if you have not received the link to register. 
      • If you are approved to graduate and haven't received email with link to register for Commencement by November 12, please call 713-718-8222 (option1) or send an email to hcc.gradceremony@hccs.edu.


Through Marching Order, graduates will be able to
:

  • Choose Ceremony | Register for either the morning or afternoon Commencement Ceremony. 
  • Download GradPass | Download GradPass, a student's ticket to enter the Commencement Ceremony. A GradPass will also be scanned when it's a student's turn to walk across the stage. A GradPass can be scanned from a mobile device or printed. 
  • Record How to Pronounce Your Name | Use Say It Right to record your name via telephone to assist the professional announcer with pronouncing your name correctly.
  • Download Guest Tickets | Use MarchingOrder Assistant to reserve, print and email guest tickets. Each graduate is limited to five guest tickets. Each guest ticket has a unique QR code which will be scanned upon entry to NRG. The ticket can only be used once. Guests can scan out, if they left something in the car and then have it scanned in again.  


STEP 4: Purchase Cap and Gown (Regalia)


Caps and gowns (regalia) will be required for participation in the Commencement Ceremony. 

Purchase Online
Please click here to purchase, cap/gown and other items (announcements, frames etc). The deadline to purchase online is November 21.

Purchase at Select Bookstore Locations 
Cap and gowns are available for purchase at the following HCC Bookstore locations: Central, Spring Branch and West Loop. To view locations and hours, please visit the HCC Bookstore website.  


STEP 5: Attend the Commencement Ceremony


We look forward to celebrating with Summer and Fall 2021 graduates who registered to attend the Commencement ceremony by the deadline. 

  • Date: Thursday, December 16, 2021
  • Location: NRG Arena (1 NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054)
  • Time: There will be a morning and afternoon ceremony.  
    • Morning Ceremony: 9 am 
    • Afternoon Ceremony: 2 pm
    • Graduates will only be able to attend the ceremony they registered to attend. 
  • For Whom: Summer & Fall 2021 graduates only
  • Guests: Graduates will be able to invite up to five guests to the Commencement ceremony. 
  • Live Stream: On the day of the ceremony, please visit this page (www.hccs.edu/graduation) to watch live stream of the ceremonies. 

 

 

Honor Cords

Associate Degree candidates who meet the criteria below are eligible for Honor Cords for the ceremony. 

  • Honors 3.35 – 3.59
  • High Honors 3.60 – 3.79
  • Highest Honors 3.80 – 4.00
  • Considerations
    • GPA used for the Fall ceremony is through Summer 2021 (Fall grades will not be included for the ceremony but will be reflected on the final award).
    • GPA for the Spring ceremony is through Fall 2021 (Spring grades will not be included for the ceremony but will be reflected on the final award).
    • Students completing a Certificate of Completion do not receive honor cords.


Prior to the ceremony, qualifying graduates can pick them up at the following HCC Bookstore locations: Central, Spring Branch and West Loop. To view locations and hours, please visit the HCC Bookstore website.

Qualifying graduates may also stop by the Honor Cords table on the day of the ceremony.

 

Degree Posting/Diploma Mailing

After the end of the semester, the work begins to evaluate completion of degree/certificates, post degrees on transcripts, and mail diplomas. Please view the timeline below to understand what to expect. 

  1. Degree Audits
    Registrar's Office performs a degree audit to determine if graduates successfully completed the program requirements. 

  2. Degrees Reflected on Transcripts
    Registrar's Office posts degrees on official transcripts approximately three to four weeks after the official end of the term listed below.
    • Fall End of Term Date | December 15
    • Spring End of Term Date | May 15
    • Summer End of Term Date | August 15

  3. Diplomas Mailed
    For graduates who choose to have their diplomas mailed at the time of the graduation application, the Registrar's Office will mail diplomas approximately two weeks after all degrees are posted.


You can check your graduation status online by following the steps below. 

  1. Visit HCC MyEagle
  2. Select "Student Sign-In tile/box. 
  3. Select “Academic Progress” tile/box. 

 

Graduation and Commencement Help & Archives

Student Services

For more information regarding Graduation and Commencement, call 713-718-8222 (option 1) or send an email to hcc.gradceremony@hccs.edu.

To watch playbacks and view programs from previous Commencement Ceremonies, please click here