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FSCJ Hybrid Commencement Ceremony
Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 4 p.m.

After exploring several options for the 2021 Commencement Ceremony, considering capacities, accommodations, availability, costs and safety precautions, as well as the results of the recent graduate survey, we have decided the 2021 Commencement Ceremony will be a hybrid celebration.

The ceremony will be streamed live on on May 13, 2021 at 4 p.m. Following last year’s format, the ceremony will include messages from faculty, staff and students, as well as personalized slides with name, picture and written message for each graduate who registers to participate. More information on this will be shared in the coming weeks.

Additionally, we will also host several “Commencement Caravan” drive-through campus events prior to the ceremony where students will receive a commemorative “Commencement in a Box,” with important, memorable keepsake items. Each student who registers to participate in these drive-through events will be allowed to bring one vehicle with their family and friends to share in the celebration and take pictures. Registration will be required, so graduates will need to register early in order to receive one of these boxes before they are gone. Details about these drive-through events will be shared in the coming months.

Recent Summer and Fall 2020 graduates will be notified by email the first week of 2021 and Spring 2021 eligible graduates will be contacted the beginning of February with more information.

Follow this link to watch the 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony.

For recent graduates with questions about your diploma, please submit a help desk ticket at so we can assist you.


Eligible students will be contacted through their FSCJ student email account with more information on registration and event details at the beginning of 2021. If you have questions about your eligibility or making sure you are on track for the 2021 Commencement Ceremony, please schedule an appointment with an advisor at


*This information is based on our ability to host an in-person ceremony for 2021. Should that change, we will share any updates as quickly as possible.


Q: What is the difference between “graduation” and “Commencement?”
A: Commencement traditionally refers to the ceremony held at the end of Spring term every year. It is a ceremony where your academic accomplishments are recognized with family, friends, peers, faculty and staff.
Graduation refers to the awarding of degrees and certificates to students who meet all graduation requirements. At the end of each term, students that meet all graduation requirements will automatically be awarded their degree or certificate.


Q: If I need information about GRADUATION, where do I go?
A: Details on graduation for Spring 2021 can be found on the graduation webpage.

  • 6/1/2021: The degree message will be reflected on students’ transcripts
  • 6-8 weeks after 6/1/2021: Diplomas will be mailed to students


Q: Can my friends and family come to the ceremony?
A: Yes, and admission is free, however, seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Please keep
in mind that there is a fee for parking in the lots surrounding the Arena. 


Q: Is there a rehearsal?
A: No.


Q: How are participants seated?
A: Participants will be seated by event staff after check-in. Participants are expected to remain seated throughout the ceremony before participating in the recessional. 


Q: How will they know when to say my name?
A: Your name will be called by presenting your name card to the reader as you cross the stage. Students who believe that the readers may have trouble pronouncing their names can spell their names phonetically on the card. 


Q: Will my name appear in the Commencement program?
A: Only students who have registered to participate in the Commencement ceremony by April 7 will be included in the Commencement program. Students who register after April 7 will not be listed in the program. 


Q: Will I be listed as honors in the program?
A: The Commencement program will recognize students who register for the ceremony that are graduating with honors. Since the Commencement program is printed before Spring term grades are recorded, honors designations for Spring term ceremony participants are identified based on their cumulative GPA as of April 8, 2021. Summer and Fall Term 2020 participants are identified based on their cumulative GPA at the time of their graduation.
If your Summer 2021 grades drop your GPA below the requirements for honors designation, honors status will not be reflected on your final diploma or transcript.


Q: Do honors students get cords for graduation?
A: Honors cords will be distributed when students check-in at the Arena on May 13. Honors cords will not be distributed prior to or after the Commencement ceremony. Honors designations for Spring term ceremony participants are identified based on their cumulative GPA as of April 8, 2021. Summer and Fall Term 2020 participants are identified based on their cumulative GPA at the time of their graduation.


Q: Is there an official photographer at Commencement?
A: Official photographers will take your picture as you approach the stage and as you make your way back to your seat. Proofs will be mailed to you.
The information you provide on your name card is where you will receive your proofs. Purchasing information will be included with the proof that will be mailed to your listed address. 


Q: What time should I arrive at the Arena?
A: Doors open at 2 p.m. for participants to begin check-in. Check-in closes at 3:15 p.m., so participants should arrive no later than 3 p.m.
Doors open for friends and family at 2:30 p.m.


Q: Approximately how long will the ceremony last?
A: The length of the ceremony varies based on the number of participants, but should be completed by 6:30 p.m. All participants are expected to remain for the duration of the ceremony and will not be permitted to exit the floor early.


Q: Who can walk at Commencement?
A: To participate in the 2021 Commencement Ceremony, students must meet one of the following
1. Student has earned an Associate or Baccalaureate degree in the Summer or Fall of 2020
2. Student has an expected graduation date of Spring 2021 on their student record
Please Note: Students who have earned high school equivalency and/or diplomas will be
honored in a separate ceremony on June 3, 2021.


Q: When can I purchase my cap and gown?
A: You can pre-order your caps and gowns the second week of April by visiting the FSCJ Bookstore Graduation page. 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 beginning the first week of February. Funds will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Q: Where can I purchase graduation announcements?
A: Announcements are available from the campus/center bookstores. Neither announcements nor
tickets are required for admission to the Arena.


Q: What is recommended attire and footwear?
A: Attire for participants should reflect the important nature of the Commencement ceremony.

  • Shoes for both men and women should be of dress variety, not sandals, sneakers, flip flops or boots. 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.
  • 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.


Q: How do I request accommodations to participate in the Commencement ceremony
under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

A: 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 emailing


Q: What is Commencement etiquette?
A: 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.


Q: Can I decorate my cap?
A: Yes. This is a great way to share your excitement about this momentous occasion. Have fun with it! 


Q: Will the ceremony be available online?
A: Yes. The ceremony will be streamed live at Your friends and family can also follow
along on social media by using the hashtag #fscjgrad2021.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for about the 2021 Commencement
ceremony in the FAQ above, please email