Frequently Asked Questions About College Commencement

Q:  What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
A:  Graduation refers to receiving a certificate or degree once a student has satisfied all certificate or degree requirements as verified by the Admissions, Registration and Records Office. After the verification process, the certificate or degree is printed, mailed and posted to the student’s Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) record. The mailing and posting process for spring term certificates and degrees usually takes 4 – 6 weeks after grades are recorded.
Commencement is a ceremony that allows students, family and friends to celebrate the student’s academic accomplishments. Participation in the ceremony does not mean the student has graduated and students do not receive their certificate or degree that day.

Q:  Can I go to the ceremony if my certificate or degree requirements are not going to be complete by the end of spring term 2015?
A:  Yes. Students completing their requirements at a later date may attend regardless of the amount of credits still needed. Students do not receive their certificate or degree on the day of the ceremony. They receive an empty cover and the actual certificate or degree will be sent later upon completion of all requirements.

Q:  How do I get my name in the commencement program and what is the deadline?
A:  You need to apply for graduation by filling out the application and submitting it to the Admissions, Registration and Records Office by Friday, April 17, 2015.

Q:  Can I attend the ceremony if my name is not in the program?
A:  Yes. When students cross the stage to receive their certificate or degree cover, their names are announced from a card, not from the commencement program.

Q:  What if I attend the ceremony and forget to fill out the application for graduation?
A: You must fill out an application in order to be evaluated for the certificate or degree and to receive the certificate or degree, if eligible. The graduation application is on the MHCC website at

Q: What does my GPA have to be in order to qualify for honors?
A: General Honors: Students graduating with school honors have an MHCC cumulative grade point average of 3.65 or higher as of winter term 2015. The MHCC Bookstore sells school honors regalia.

Rho Theta: Members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society must have an MHCC cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher as of the winter term before the commencement ceremony to wear Phi Theta Kappa honors regalia. You can order directly from the Phi Theta Kappa store by using your membership number to log into the website, or you can buy regalia through Rho Theta, MHCC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and save some money on shipping. Rho Theta is a student-run organization, so office hours are limited, but the Rho Theta office in the library will be staffed additional hours for regalia sales. Regalia sales will be held in early May, and the regalia will be available on a first come, first served basis until all items have been sold. The sales schedule will be sent by email to Rho Theta members who have applied for graduation.
Q: Where can I find cap and gown information?
A: If you have applied for graduation, you will be sent a letter with detailed information for ordering your cap and gown in the third week of April, 2015. Also, see the Commencement 2015 letter posted on our website at

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 Last Modified: 4/2/2015 09:50:33 AM