April 11, 2022

Say What: Graduation vs. Commencement

"Say What? Learning the lingo: Commencement vs graduation"

Be sure to attend one of the Grad Fairs this week

Learning, of course, is the goal of any college experience. Part of that education means familiarizing yourself with some unfamiliar terms. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

As part of an occasional series, we’ll explain phrases, lingo or topics to add to your college vocabulary. We call it “Say What?” If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered, please send suggestions to [email protected].

Today, we take a look at the difference between Graduation and Commencement.

What’s the difference?

It’s easy to think that graduation and commencement are the same thing, but they definitely are not. Graduation means fulfilling all the academic requirements for your credential – certificate, skills certificate associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates this achievement.

What do I need to do to graduate?

Now is a good time to check your progress toward your credential. To do that, log in to Ocelot Access, select Student Planning, and then My Progress to track your progress.

Next, choose Graduation Overview and click Apply in Ocelot Access to submit your graduation application. Schoolcraft College has only one Commencement a year, so the semester in which you will take your final courses is the semester for which you should apply for graduation. 

Graduates in caps and gowns
This year’s Commencement is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, in the St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center on the main campus.

Once final grades have posted for the semester, the Records Office will begin auditing graduation applications to verify that all requirements have been met.

The process is done manually, so your patience is greatly appreciated. You will receive an email when your credential has posted to your transcript.

The last day to submit a graduation application for the Winter 2022 semester is on Thursday, May 5. To ensure your name appears in the Commencement program, you need to submit a graduation application by Friday, April 15 for Winter, Spring and Summer 2022.

Learn more information about graduation

When is Commencement?

This year’s Commencement is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, in the St. Joe’s Mercy Elite Sports Center on the main campus. 

To help you get ready for Commencement, please plan on attending one of the Grad Fairs, which will be held on the following dates and times at the Bookstore on the main campus:

  • Wednesday, April 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 14, from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Be prepared to purchase and pick up your cap and gown for $30. You also will be given your four guest tickets at this time. Graduates must pick up their guest tickets in-person at the Bookstore.

Also available for purchase will be announcements, diploma frames, class rings, and a variety of alumni/graduate merchandise.

More information about Commencement, including a list of FAQs, is available on its web page

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