Commencement Information

Graduation and Commencement Information

Students planning for graduation should submit a Graduation Application to the office of the Registrar prior to registration for their last semester to ensure all academic requirements are met.

Graduation commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017, 1:00 p.m. at the Forum River Center in the historic district of Rome at #2 Government Plaza, 301 Tribune Street (from Broad Street turn onto West 3rd Avenue).

Important: Please be aware that check in time is at 12:00 p.m. on May 13th. If you are late, and arrive after line-up begins, you WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CEREMONY. It is disruptive to the ceremony and disrespectful to other students. No exceptions will be made for any reason.

Please RSVP for the ceremony via the link on the graduation page. https://www.highlands.edu/graduation/

There are no tickets sold and no maximum number of guests allowed. Seating is first come, first serve.

Preparing for Graduation Commencement

GHC’s list of graduation candidates is submitted for program printing and media publications by March 1, 2017, well in advance of commencement. Students submitting their Graduation Application (Petition for Graduation) after the list is submitted for publication may be permitted to walk at commencement, however their name will not appear in print material. It is important to note that publication of a student’s name in the graduation commencement program or media in no way obligates GHC to award a degree if the student’s academic requirements are incomplete. GHC makes every effort to ensure names and statuses are listed accurately. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure their name is entered correctly (including spelling and capitalization) in SCORE. Student names will appear in publications and on diplomas as they are listed in SCORE at the time of printing. Students desiring their name to display differently must submit the Student Record Change (Student Name/Address Change Request) with proper documentation prior to printing.



Honors are calculated on all credit hours earned at Georgia Highlands College. Honors status for the graduation commencement program are determined by grades posted as of fall semester.

Ordering Graduation Regalia

Caps, gowns, and announcements can be purchased in the Georgia Highlands College Bookstore.

Deadline to order: March 17

Order from website: www.herffjones.com/college/georgiahighlands

Cost for cap and gown only: $44 plus tax, additional products & packages vary

Students will choose which bookstore to pick up their order from. They should be available for pick up by April 24th.

For additional information, please visit bookstore@highlands.edu or phone 706-295-6359.

Prior to May 1:

·       Ensure all library fines, parking tickets, and other outstanding balances are paid.

·       Students with loans secured through FAFSA should consult with Financial Aid regarding exit interviews.

·       Check SCORE for any holds. Diplomas will be withheld from graduates having holds on their accounts.

Please RSVP for the commencement ceremony here: 

Graduation Commencement Day

Information! Large camera bags and back packs may be searched before entering the building.

Report to the Forum River Center in Rome, GA by 12:00 noon on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

The Forum River Center

301 Tribune St. Rome, GA.

706-291-5281

Directions and a map can be found here. http://forumrivercenter.com/  

GHC leases the 3rd Avenue Parking Deck near the Forum for the day of graduation to provide the largest amount of free and convenient parking for students and guests. Please note the Parking Deck lacks space to accommodate all graduation attendees and early arrival is encouraged. Additional parking can be found at parking decks on 4th Avenue, Historic Courthouse, and 6th Avenue.

Dress: Formal dress/coat and tie are not required for graduation; however, all items of clothing and shoes visible beyond the cap and gown attire should be black or dark in color. Please note the graduating class will remain standing for extended periods of time throughout the ceremony and comfortable shoes are strongly encouraged. (Tennis shoes are discouraged unless absolutely necessary.)

ROBING AND SIGN-IN: It is imperative that students arrive on time to ensure proper sign-in, commencement instructions, and processional line-up. Students should report to the Forum Riverwalk Ballroom (1st Level, opposite the Arena entrances) by 12:00 noon. The Registrar will have stations just inside the Ballroom where processional cards will be claimed to indicate sign-in. Specific instructions will then be given for line-up according to the degree program.

Processional: Graduating students will line up for the processional in alphabetical order according to their degree programs. Students will proceed into the Arena via the entrance nearest the Clocktower room in the following order:

·       Associate of Applied Science in Human Services

·       Associate of Arts

·       Associate of Science

·       Associate of Science in Nursing

·       Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene

·       Bachelor of Science in Nursing

·       Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

The commencement processional into the Arena will be led by the Mace Bearer and followed by the Stage Party and Faculty. Line Marshals will then lead the graduating class into the Arena as provided in the instructions at Robing.

Stage Presentation: When arriving on the stage platform, students should pause at the top of the ramp and hand their processional card to the card reader at the first podium (to the right and nearest the ramp). As the student’s name is announced, they should approach the President and shake hands with the right hand while accepting the diploma cover with the left. Students may also shake hands with the guest speaker and the Vice President. As graduates leave the stage platform, the tassel should be switched from the right side to the left.

Please note: Only students participating in commencement will receive a diploma cover.

Recessional: During the recessional, the Mace Bearer and Stage Party will line-up for exit first followed by faculty. The graduating class will then be led by Marshalls for recessional in the order they entered the Arena.

Cameras: Taping of the Georgia Highlands College graduation ceremony for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited without prior consent of the Office of the President of the College.

Accommodations for Students and Guest with Disabilities

Graduating students participating in commencement are instructed to access the stage to receive recognition and to stand for long periods of time. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations should contact sss@highlands.edu to ensure proper staffing arrangements are made prior to commencement activities. Accommodation requests should be submitted to Student Support Services immediately after the Graduation Application is submitted to the office of Registrar. Accommodation requests submitted after April 15th may remain unstaffed.

Handicap parking spaces are indicated near the Forum and at the 3rd Avenue Parking Deck. Visitors requiring these parking needs should arrive early to ensure availability.

Handicap seating is available at the Forum. Guests requiring special needs arrangements are encouraged to arrive early. Seating will be reserved near the sign language interpreter to accommodate guests who are hearing impaired. GHC ushers will be available to provide directions to these designated areas.

Diplomas and Degree Awards

Spring Diplomas will be available for pickup beginning June 15, 2017. Please email sbeideck@highlands.edu if you wish to pick your diploma up at a campus other than Floyd. Contact that campus to make sure your diploma is there before going to pick it up. Diplomas not picked up will be mailed to the address in score beginning July 15, 2017.  Please check to make sure your address is correct by logging into your score account.

If you have completed your degree in Summer or Fall of 2016: Summer diplomas have been mailed to the address in our system. Fall diplomas will be mailed out by mid-February.

Students will be awarded their degrees only after successfully completing all program requirements. Student names will appear on diplomas as they are listed in SCORE at the time of printing. Students desiring their name to display differently must submit the Student Record Change (Student Name/Address Change Request) with proper documentation prior to printing. http://www2.highlands.edu/site/registrar-change-of-name-or-address . Diplomas will be available for pick-up after final degree audits have been completed. Diploma pick-up is advisable to mailing to avoid potential damage. Graduates who wish to pick-up their diploma from any GHC campus other than Floyd Campus at Rome must notify the Registrar’s Office at sbeideck@highlands.edu . Unclaimed diplomas will be mailed to the student address on file with the College beginning July 1, 2017. Students are encouraged to ensure their correct mailing address is recorded in SCORE. Graduates who do not receive their diploma by late August should notify the Registrar’s Office at sbeideck@highlands.edu .  Diploma requests made beyond one year of graduation will include a reprint fee.

Please note: Only students participating in commencement will receive a diploma cover.

Honors are calculated on all credit hours earned at Georgia Highlands College.