Commencement 2018 Banner

Dear Student,

I want to start by extending my congratulations to all of the graduates for achieving their upcoming graduation from Florida State College at Jacksonville. We are committed to celebrating all of our graduates and want to ensure we are able to do so in the safest way possible.

At this time, we feel it is in the best interest of all graduates and their families and friends to postpone the Commencement Ceremony, originally scheduled for May 7.

We are continuing to monitor and evaluate the circumstances around COVID-19 and considering all options in determining the best course of action. This has been a difficult, but necessary decision to make, keeping the interests of all graduates and guests in mind. 

Once a final decision is made, we will share the information with the College community.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience as we face this unexpected obstacle and make the best decision possible.

Sincerely,

Dr. A.
College President


Congratulations!

Florida State College at Jacksonville is proud of your accomplishments! We’re looking forward to celebrating with you, your family and friends. Before the big day arrives, there are a few steps you need to take to get ready.

All graduates planning on participating in the Commencement ceremony must register in advance. Eligible students will receive an email to their FSCJ student account regarding registration. Students will register through their Student Center in their myFSCJ account. Click on the "Other Academic" drop-down menu and choose "Graduation Status." From there, click on the "Update Commencement RSVP" link. If you believe you are eligible and have not received an email, please schedule an appointment with an advisor and select ‘Graduation Check’ or open a help desk ticket for online assistance using these fields – Category: myFSCJ, Subcategory: Commencement, Assignment Group: CS Student Records.

Graduates must register for the ceremony by April 8 in order for their name to appear in the Commencement program. Only those who register for Commencement by April 8 will be listed in this year’s program.

Please note: The Arena has implemented new security measures to include metal detectors upon entrance at the Main Doors. Please allow enough time for this additional process, as well as potential traffic and parking delays. Please consider the attire and jewelry that you will be wearing, including belts and other items that might set off the metal detector.

Bags, backpacks or purses larger than (12”x6”x12”) are NOT permitted in the arena.

Check out the resources on this page for all the information you need for Commencement. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or have additional questions, please email commencement@fscj.edu.

Commencement Etiquette

Participants should plan to arrive at the Arena at 2 p.m. Friends and family will not be allowed to enter the Arena prior to 2:30 p.m. The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. and is expected to last until approximately 6:30 p.m.

The ceremony is important to all participants, from the very first across the stage to the very last. Participants are expected to stay for the duration of the ceremony. If you are unable to stay and support your fellow participants, please do not attend the ceremony. Participants are expected to remain seated throughout the ceremony before participating in the recessional. Family and friends are also requested to remain for the entire ceremony.

Please note: The Arena has implemented new security measures to include metal detectors upon entrance at the Main Doors.  Please allow enough time for this additional process, as well as potential traffic and parking delays.  Please consider the attire and jewelry that you will be wearing, including belts and other items that might set off the metal detector.

Caps & Gowns

Commencement participants are required to wear academic apparel at the ceremony. Caps, gowns, tassels and keepsake FSCJ signets will be available for purchase in the campus/center bookstores beginning March 13. Please Note: Unlike years past, caps and gowns for this year's ceremony will be blue. Graduates planning on participating must purchase a new cap and gown. Those needing financial assistance with their purchase can apply for a needs-based regalia scholarship. Funds will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Honors Cords

Honors cords will be distributed when students check-in at the Arena on May 7. Honors cords will not be distributed prior to or after the Commencement ceremony. Be sure to confirm your honors status with an advisor after you register for Commencement.

Accommodations

FSCJ encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Graduates requiring accommodation can make their request when completing the online registration to attend the Commencement ceremony. Family members who require ADA accommodation to participate in Commencement can make their request by email.

Recommended Attire

Dress for participants should reflect the important nature of the Commencement ceremony.

Shoes for both men and women should be of dress variety. Please note, that you will be walking up and down stairs at the stage. Make sure your shoes allow you to easily navigate stairs!

Jewelry should not be worn in excess when you are dressed in academic apparel. The academic gown, mortarboard (cap) and tassel are considered sufficient adornment for this celebratory occasion.

Purses should not be brought, along with other personal items, as there is no location to secure these items during the ceremony. Participants will want to have their hands free for moving the tassel when directed, shaking hands and holding the diploma itself.

Bags, backpacks or purses larger than (12”x6”x12”) are NOT permitted in the arena.

Mortarboards (caps) should sit squarely on top of the head with the point falling in the midpoint of the forehead. Do not tilt the cap at a jaunty angle. Bobby pins can be used to secure the cap.

Please note, in order for your name to appear in the Commencement program, you must register by April 8.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on May 7 as you celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments. Here are a few things you need to know in preparation for the big day:

  • Ceremony participants should check in at the Arena between 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Doors open at 2:30 p.m. for friends and family. Guests will not be permitted to enter the Arena prior to 2:30 p.m. for any reason.
  • Please note: The Arena has implemented new security measures to include metal detectors upon entrance at the Main Doors. Please allow enough time for this additional process, as well as potential traffic and parking delays. Please consider the attire and jewelry that you will be wearing, including belts and other items that might set off the metal detector.
  • Bags, backpacks or purses larger than (12”x6”x12”) are NOT permitted in the arena.
  • Tickets are not required for admission. Guest seating is first-come, first-seated.
  • Balloons are not allowed in the arena area. Any balloons that are brought into the building will have to be left in the lobby or returned to your vehicle.
  • If you would like to purchase flowers for your graduate, you can do so inside the arena at our Career Employees Council table.
  • FSCJ encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Graduates requiring accommodation can make their request when completing the online registration to attend the Commencement ceremony.  Family member who require ADA accommodation to participate in Commencement can make their request by email.
  • Please remain for the entirety of the ceremony as a sign of respect for all graduates.
  • If you are unable to attend that day, the ceremony will be broadcast via live stream at live.fscj.edu

If you are in need of lodging, there are several hotels around the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, including:

Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena

300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32202


Parking

Parking is available in lots around the Arena. Please keep in mind there is a fee to park in these lots and fees may vary from lot to lot. View parking map.


Driving Directions

From the North:
Take I-95 South to the Union Street/Riverfront exit (353B). Continue approximately 2 miles on Union Street. Remain in one of the two left lanes. Continue straight onto the Mathews Bridge ramp. Take the Sports Complex exit before the bridge. Turn right on A. Philip Randolph Blvd. The Arena will be on your right.


From the South:
Take I-95 North to the Main Street exit. Go over the Main Street Bridge. Stay in the right lane. Take 1st ramp on right through yield sign onto Water Street. Veer left onto Newnan Street. Immediately turn right at Bay Street traffic light. Continue east on Bay Street (approximately 1 mile). Turn left on A. Phillip Randolph Blvd.


From the West:
Take I-10 East to I-95 North. Take I-95 North to the Union Street/Riverfront exit (353B). Continue approximately 2 miles to Union Street. Remain in one of the two left lanes. Continue straight onto the Mathews Bridge ramp. Take the Sports Complex exit before the bridge. Turn right on A. Philip Randolph Blvd. The Arena will be on your right.


From the East:
Take Atlantic Blvd. West to the Arlington Expressway/FL-115. Continue west on Arlington Expressway over the Mathews Bridge. Follow to the Sports Complex exit. Turn right on Albert St. Turn right on A. Philip Randolph Blvd. The Arena will be on your right.

Rashean Mathis

Philanthropist and Founder of the Rashean Mathis Foundation

Regarded as one of the strongest defensive players in franchise history, Jacksonville native Rashean Rashean MathisMathis was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft. Prior to a successful 13-year career in the NFL, Rashean attended Southside Middle School and Englewood High School. He attributes his favorite high school English teacher, Mrs. Linda Johns, as having a significant impact on his life because of her unique gift to radiate positivity, encouragement and truly believing that her students could accomplish anything. After high school, he enjoyed an exceptional college football career at Bethune-Cookman University. Rashean is passionate about education, community wellness and prosperity. He has served as spokesperson for the United Way’s Real$ense Prosperity Campaign, a United Way initiative and community coalition that provides free tax preparation services in five counties utilizing the services of over 300 volunteers. Since retiring in 2016, Rashean is dedicated to intercepting lives and has worked to create the Rashean Mathis Foundation, an organization committed to being a catalyst for conversations and solutions that bridge the divide existing within our community. He and his wife Ebony are the parents of three energetic and wonderful children and are proud to make Jacksonville their home.