Q: What is the difference between “graduation” and “Commencement? ”
A: Commencement is a ceremony, traditionally held at the end of Spring term every year and during which your academic accomplishments are recognized. This is the ceremony during which you cross the stage in your cap and gown.
Graduation is a records process, completed by college staff members, that officially awards degrees and certificates to students who meet all graduation requirements. At the end of each term, students that meet all requirements will automatically be awarded their degree or certificate in the graduation process.
Q: What do I need to know about graduation and my diploma?
- 5/13/2022: The degree message will be reflected on students’ transcripts
- 6–8 weeks after 5/13/2022: Diplomas will be mailed to students
Q: Will Commencement be held in-person or virtually this year?
A: We will hold an in-person Commencement Ceremony this year on Thursday, May 12, at 4 p.m. at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. In addition to the ceremony, we will host on-campus Grad Fest events during March and April where family and friends are invited to share in this moment with you. Masks will be encouraged at the ceremony and Grad Fest events.
Q: Who can participate in the Commencement ceremony?
A: To participate in the 2022 Commencement Ceremony, students must have earned an Associate or Baccalaureate degree in the Summer or Fall of 2021, or the Spring of 2022.
Please Note: Students who have earned high school equivalency and/or diplomas will be honored in a separate ceremony.
Q: What are Grad Fest events?
A: Grad Fest events are in-person celebrations on each campus/center where graduates and their families can enjoy a special event with giveaways, graduate activities and an opportunity for group pictures. Graduates can pick up their pre-ordered caps and gowns, decorate their caps, connect with our Alumni Association, meet with bachelor’s program representatives, receive Honors/Military cords and complete early check in with Student Records. Graduates may only participate in one Grad Fest event.
Q: When are Grad Fest events?
- Kent Campus: March 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- North Campus: March 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Nassau Center: March 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- South Campus: April 2, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
- Deerwood Center: April 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Cecil Center: April 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Downtown Campus: April 7, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
Q: What are the important dates I need to know?
A: February 14 – Commencement Registration opens. Students must register in myFSCJ by updating their RSVP to Yes or No for participating in the in-person ceremony at the Arena and/or a Grad Fest event.
March 1 – Deadline to submit the application for the Regalia Scholarship.
March 25 – Last day to register in myFSCJ to participate in a Grad Fest event.
April 6 – Deadline to register in myFSCJ to have your name appear in the printed Commencement Program.
April 8 – Coupon for ordering cap and gown expires. To redeem your $10 off $40 coupon, go to Grad10.com and enter your email address and access code 0424. You will receive an email with your coupon code to the email address you provided. Next you will go to the Bookstore website to complete your order and enter your coupon code at checkout.
April 17 – Last day to register in myFSCJ to participate in the Commencement Ceremony at the Arena. (Those who register between April 7-17 will not have their name appear in the printed program.)
Q: What are the exact steps I need to follow?
- Log in to myFSCJ to update your RSVP to confirm your participation in the in-person ceremony and/or Grad Fest event.
- On the Student Center page, click on the ‘Academic Progress & My Advisor” tile.
- Click on ‘Commencement RSVP Status’ on the left-hand side of the page.
- Click on ‘Update Commencement RSVP.’
- Select Yes or No to confirm your participation in the ceremony at the Arena.
- You will then need to confirm your attendance to a Grad Fest event at a campus of your choice or confirm that you will not participate in a Grad Fest event and will only participate in the ceremony. *Graduates may only attend one Grad Fest event.
- If you will attend a Grad Fest event, you MUST reserve the date/time/location you will attend.
- After you make your selections in myFSCJ, be sure to hit “OK” to submit your registration. If you don’t submit this page in myFSCJ, you will not be included in the ceremony.
Q: If I need assistance registering for Commencement in myFSCJ, what do I do?
A: Open a help desk ticket at help.fscj.edu for online assistance using these fields – Category: myFSCJ-Student, Subcategory: Student Records.
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?
Q: How are participants seated?
A: Participants will be seated by event staff after check-in. Participants are expected to remain for the duration of the entire ceremony.
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?
Students who have registered to participate in the Commencement ceremony by April 6 will be included in the Commencement program. Students who register after April 6 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 who 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 6, 2022. Summer and Fall 2021 Term participants are identified based on their cumulative GPA at the time of their graduation.
If your Spring 2022 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 at the Grad Fest events and/or when students check-in at the Arena on May 12.
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: When can I purchase my cap and gown?
A: You can now pre-order your caps and gowns online from the FSCJ Bookstore website or by calling a bookstore. To redeem your $10 off $40 coupon, go to Grad10.com and enter your email address and access code 0424. You will receive an email with your coupon code to the email address you provided. Next you will go to the Bookstore website to complete your order and enter your coupon code at checkout.
You can also order them during one of the Grad Fest events to be picked up later at a Bookstore. 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.
Q: Where can I purchase graduation announcements?
A: Announcements can be ordered online from the FSCJ Bookstore website or are available in-store 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 formal nature of the Commencement ceremony.
Shoes for both men and women should be dressy, but comfortable. Please note that you will be walking up and down stairs at the stage, and you will be walking or standing during the procession and recession. Make sure your shoes allow you to walk quickly and navigate stairs easily!
Purses should not be brought, along with other personal items, as there is no location to secure these items during the ceremony. Leave them with family members or in your vehicle. Participants will need 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.
Phones are welcome, but should be kept on silent. You’ll need to take a photo of the commencement program in order to follow along with the order of events since printed programs will only be available to spectators until after the ceremony. Also, we encourage you to post your commencement photos to social media using #fscjgrad2022.
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 completing this form.
Q: What is Commencement etiquette?
A: Participants should 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 with the graduates 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! Remember, you can also decorate your cap at one of our Grad Fest events.
Q: Will the ceremony be available online?
A: Yes. The ceremony will be streamed live at live.fscj.edu. Your friends and family can also follow along on social media by using the hashtag #fscjgrad2022.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for about the 2021 Commencement ceremony in the FAQ above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.