Graduating doesn’t just happen; you must complete and submit an application by the designated deadline to be eligible.
Students wishing to graduate with a degree, certificate, or career studies certificate are required to complete and submit to the registrar an online Application for Graduation by the designated deadline for the semester in which they wish to graduate.
Graduation occurs at the end of each semester - fall, spring and summer. Commencement ceremonies, however, are only held in the spring. Students who are eligible to graduate in the spring, as well as those students who graduated during the previous summer and fall semesters, are strongly encouraged to attend the spring commencement ceremonies.
The beginning and ending application submission dates for each of the three semesters are as follows:
FALL December graduation – submit application between July 1 and September 1
SPRING May graduation – submit application between October 1 and December 1
SUMMER August graduation – submit application between April 1 and June 1
How to Apply
First, see your faculty advisor and let them work with you in completing an initial review of your graduation readiness. You must certify later on the graduation application that you have consulted with your advisor.
Next, if you determine that you should be ready for graduate by the upcoming semester, submit an online graduation application.
To access the online Graduation Application, (1) go to the ESCC website, (2) click on MyESCC, (3) enter your username and password, (4) click on VCCS SIS: Student Information System, and finally (5) under Academic Records you will see Apply for Graduation.
Once your application is received, the college will officially review your academic record and the registrar will send you a letter informing you (1) if you have taken all of your required courses by the end of this fall semester, or (2) if you have additional coursework that you will need to take in the spring in order to graduate.
Remember: If you do not submit a graduation application by the designated deadline, the college cannot review your graduation readiness and you will not graduate at the end of the requested semester.
Catalog Determination and Degree Designation
The catalog you use to determine graduation requirements may be the one in effect at the time you are admitted to a curriculum, or any subsequent catalog you select. Only the degree major will appear on the diploma. The degree major and specialization, if any, will become part of your permanent academic record at ESCC.
You must also fulfill the requirements of your specific program by the end of the graduation semester. Contact your faculty advisor to investigate ways in which you may fulfill these requirements.
Outcomes Assessment Requirement
Degree-seeking students must complete the outcomes assessment testing prior to graduation for the purpose of evaluating the college's academic programs. No minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation. Test results will remain confidential and will be used for the sole purpose of improving the college's programs.
Degree and Certificate Requirements
To be eligible for graduation with a diploma from the college, you must meet all of the following requirements:
Submit an online Application for Graduation to the registrar by the designated deadline for the semester in which you wish to graduate. (May be waived in the case of a General Education Certificate)
Fulfill all of the course and credit-hour requirements of the curriculum, with a minimum of 25 percent of the credit semester hours acquired at Eastern Shore Community College.
Earn a grade point average of at least 2.00 in all studies which are applicable toward graduation in the curriculum.
Resolve all financial obligations to the College including those to the library.
Second Degree, Diploma, or Certificate
A student who wishes to receive more than one degree must, in the process of completing the requirements for the second degree, complete a minimum of an additional fifteen (15) hours of ESCC coursework beyond the requirements of the first degree. These requirements also apply to receiving more than one certificate.
A student in a program that awards a certificate and/or diploma in addition to a degree will have only the highest level of academic completion announced at graduation and listed in the graduation program; however, the student, upon request to the Registrar’s Office, will receive appropriate documents reflecting all levels of completion.
The registrar determines the student’s readiness for graduation and records the student's plans for attendance at commencement, as noted by the student on the graduation application.
Final clearance for graduation takes place after final grades for the spring semester have been entered and reviewed. Students are notified as soon as possible alerting them if they have not successfully completed all requirements and are not eligible to graduate.
Diplomas are only available at the commencement ceremony. If a student is not able to attend the commencement ceremony, he/she must contact the registrar to make arrangements to receive the diploma after the commencement date.
Commencement ceremonies are held once a year in May. All spring graduates and students who graduated the preceding fall and summer are strongly encouraged to participate in commencement.
Commencement is a formal occasion in which all participants are required to wear academic regalia including robes, hoods, and mortar-board caps with tassels. Graduating students should indicate their height and weight on the online graduation application in order for the ESCC Bookstore to determine gown size. You must contact the ESCC Bookstore to purchase the cap and gown. At your request, they will order your robe,, hood, caps and tassel. You are responsible for all cap and gown costs
It is suggested that you try your gown on prior to the rehearsal to make sure you can have it pressed and properly altered before graduation.
Wear the tassel over the right temple until all graduates have received diplomas or certificates. The whole class will be asked to stand and move the tassel to the left side.
Men are asked to remove their caps during the Invocation and Benediction.
Please remember casual business attire should be worn under the gown. Appropriate, comfortable shoes should also be worn. (Keep in mind you will need to walk from your seat up a set of stairs, across the stage, back down a set of stairs and back to your seat.)
Purchasing Graduation Announcements
Graduation announcements are available for purchase in the ESCC Bookstore. There is no limit to the number of announcements you may purchase. Announcements are not invitations to graduation. Only those with tickets will be admitted into the Commencement Ceremony.
Honors and PTK
Students graduating with honors will have their academic honor announced during the ceremony. Additionally the academic honor will be noted on your official transcript.
For PTK members: PTK regalia are the PTK member's responsibility. Regalia are not sold at the bookstore but are purchased through the local chapter. Please contact the PTK advisor for more information.
Children at Commencement/Child Care
No children five years or younger will be admitted into the auditorium for the commencement ceremony. Child care will be provided at no cost by certified child care providers at the graduation site prior to the ceremony.
For your convenience, ESCC has arranged for a professional photographer to take both individual and group graduation photographs. Individual pictures are taken at ESCC at designated times on the day of graduation rehearsal. The group picture is taken at Nandua High School just prior to graduation rehearsal. Pictures must be paid for at the time of photography.
Diplomas are ordered by the registrar. Every attempt is made to insure that the wording of the student’s name on the diploma is ordered exactly as an applicant indicates on the graduation application. Therefore, it is critical that applicants are careful when responding to this item on the application.
Students with questions concerning graduation certification should contact the ESCC registrar, Connie Fentress, at 757-789-1728 or email@example.com.
Students with questions about the commencement ceremony, admissions tickets, admission ticket waiting lists and child care should contact Eve Belote at 757-789-1767 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Laurie Swain 757-789-1797 (email@example.com).
Students with questions about the purchase of cap and gowns, or graduation announcements should contact Nancy Galati in the ESCC Bookstore at 757-789-1755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.