Information for Cowell Grads
This page conveys:
- How to Graduate from UCSC
- 12 Steps to be in the Cowell Commencement (registration, regalia, parking, rehearsal)
- More Event Details (shuttles, photos, reception)
If you DO want to be in Cowell's Commencement, read all three sections of this page. Make sure you not only apply to graduate via MyUCSC (during the appropriate filing period), but that you also complete Cowell's event registration form by the May 20 deadline (so your name will be included in the print program).
Graduation vs Commencement
Applying to graduate from UCSC is a separate process from registering to be in Cowell's Commencement ceremony, with different deadlines.
If you DO NOT intend to be in Cowell's Commencement, read only the "How to Graduate from UCSC" section, and its links, making sure you apply to graduate via MyUCSC (during the appropriate filing period).
How to Graduate from UCSC
COMPLETE ALL ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
Check in with your department advisor to make sure you have fulfilled your major requirements. Also read Your Academic Responsibilities and check in with the Cowell Academic Advisor to confirm you have satisfied all other requirements to graduate. The Navigator has two resources that can help you begin to check for yourself: Bachelor's Degree Requirements and When You're Ready to Graduate.
APPLY TO GRADUATE FROM UCSC
Students wishing to graduate (receive a degree and diploma from the university) need to apply online via MyUCSC, during the appropriate period, for the term your record will be complete. If you are unsure, please see your college and/or major adviser. Note there is a deadline to avoid a late filing fee. (Only those unable to apply online or those who need to re-apply should print out the Apply/Reapply for Graduation form).
For more information on receiving your degree and diploma, the Office of the Registrar has provided these links; please consult with them if questions remain regarding how to graduate:
12 Steps to be in the Cowell Commencement
STEP 1: REGISTER FOR COWELL COMMENCEMENT, BY MAY 20To participate in the Cowell Commencement Ceremony and be listed in the print program you must complete an Event Registration. This form is also how you indicate an interest in offering one of the multilingual welcomes (from the stage). Cowell students who plan to complete all coursework and requirements by the end of Winter 2014 are eligible to participate in our June 2013 ceremony.
STEP 2: HELP PLAN COMMENCEMENT, NOW!
Your help is needed to make Commencement a success. Areas for involvement include speaker student speaker selection, senior celebration/party planning, printed program design, and senior mementos. You can indicate interest when you register for the event (via Step 1), or you can email Kara Snider.
STEP 3: STUDENT SPEAKER NOMINATION, BY APRIL 17
To nominate a student speaker for Commencement, fill out a Nomination Form by Wednesday, April 17. Feel free to nominate yourself! Speeches should be no longer than 5 minutes and must be presented orally to the Commencement Committee in mid May to be considered. Senior Speech Guidelines and Tips are available.
STEP 4: ORDER ANNOUNCEMENTS & CAPS/GOWNS, BEGINNING APRIL 16
Order announcements, cap & gown, class ring and other items at the Bay Tree Bookstore Graduation Center beginning Tuesday, April 16. You may order many items online at the Bookstore Graduation Center website. Students are encouraged to order regalia (cap and gown) by April 26; the final day to order regalia in your size is Friday, May 24. The Graduation Center closes on Friday, June 7. Regalia distribution week will be June 11 - June 17. Wearing a cap and gown is not required to participate in the Commencement, adequate covering of some sort is!
The Bookstore's Graduation Center is open between April 17 and June 7 (weekdays 9am-5pm). In advance of this, the Bookstore is hosting a four day Graduation Fair from April 16 through April 19 during which there will be representatives available to answer questions about memorabilia as well as a photographer on-site for portraits. See the Bookstore website for more details.
STEP 5: RSVP TO ATTEND THE MAY 4 GRADUATING WITH GRATITUDE BRUNCH WITH YOUR GUEST (RSVP DEADLINE: MONDAY, APRIL 29)
Join us at the Cowell Provost House for a free brunch, on Saturday, May 4, 11am-1pm to celebrate your collegiate journey. Every Cowell graduating senior is invited to come and to bring as a guest a UCSC faculty, staff, or grad student who has made a significant difference in their success at UCSC. We will have a drawing with several prizes for seniors in attendance. This event is a chance to say thank you to someone who has helped you in your time at UCSC, and celebrate your graduation together; but please come even if you do not have a guest to invite. RSVP is required.
The invitation, with details on how to RSVP, may be viewed here.
STEP 6: DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION / SIGN LANGUAGE REQUESTS, BY MAY 9
Please read the Accommodations page if you or a guest needs some type of disability accommodation. Accommodations might involve: access to a disability lot parking permit, assistance crossing the grass field to get to the audience section of the field, sign language interpretation, large print programs, or shade seating . Note: the deadline to request sign language interpretation is Thursday, May 9.
NOTE: If you expect a guest may have difficulty walking ~70 yards on a grass field (somewhat uneven ground), please convey this information and assist them with proper planning.
STEP 7: INVITE A COWELL FACULTY OR STAFF MEMBER TO ESCORT YOU ACROSS STAGE
Ask your favorite Cowell faculty or staff member to escort you across the stage as you receive your diploma. Having an escort is optional, but escorts enjoy being asked even if you feel they don't know you well. Escorts are given full instructions regarding the stage logistics when they check in that day. When you, the graduate, check-in at Cowell on commencement day, you'll indicate the name of your escort on a card. If you've not arranged for an escort there will be a list of available faculty/staff to select from if you choose.
To ask a non-Cowell faculty or staff member, do so well in advance and be sure you provide them this info at the time you are asking. If they agree to escort you, then you (the student) provide us your escort's information no later than Friday, May 31.
STEP 8: COMMUNICATE REGULARLY WITH YOUR GUESTS
Keep your guests updated about important information such as:
- How to prepare so as to ensure comfort during this midday ceremony (see recommendations on the Cowell Commencement home page),
- Travel directions (see the Cowell Commencement page)
- What to expect upon arriving on campus (see Parking and Campus Shuttle sections below)
- To display one of your two parking passes on their dashboard when they arrive at the base of campus. Parking is extremely limited as several commencements occur on Saturday
- That seating begins at the East Field at 12:30pm, because another ceremony precedes ours
- To be in their seats by 1:20pm when the procession arrives
- The general flow and timeline of day's activities (including reception)
- The details of disability parking, if pertinent (see Step 6)
STEP 9: PICK UP TWO COMMENCEMENT PARKING PASSES, JUNE 3 - 14
Pick up your two parking passes from the Cowell College Office between Monday, June 3 and Friday, June 14 (from 9am-5pm). Bring photo ID. Only graduates who have registered online for Cowell's Commencement (via Step 1) will be issued passes. Note: on Thursday, June 13, passes will NOT be available from 2:55-4pm (during the rehearsal), but WILL be available from 4-5pm at the Senior Celebration at the Cowell Dining Hall. Passes will again be available at the College Office on Friday, June 14, from 9am-5pm.
STEP 10: PICK UP REGALIA, STARTING JUNE 10
Caps and gowns that have been ordered (see Step 4) will be distributed at the Bay Tree Bookstore, 2nd floor, beginning Monday, June 10 (8:30am-5:30pm).
STEP 11: ATTEND REHEARSAL & SENIOR CELEBRATION, JUNE 13, 3PM
A 60-minute Commencement Rehearsal/Q&A will be held on Thursday, June 13, at 3pm in the Cowell Courtyard. We'll detail the ceremony procedures, answer last-minute questions, take a Senior Class 2013 picture (optional), and process to the field/stage. Immediately following the rehearsal (~4pm) we'll proceed to the Senior Class Celebration at the Cowell Dining Hall. Enjoy finger food, cold drinks and desserts. The celebration will be a chance to chat with Cowell friends, and souvenir "Class of '13" memorabilia will be available to purchase.
NOTE: We understand you may have a scheduling conflict and can not attend the rehearsal. If so, please ask a friend to relay the main points to you, if you're able. Either way, make sure to arrive on time on Saturday.
STEP 12: COMMENCEMENT! JUNE 15, ARRIVE 12:30PM
Arrive at the Cowell Courtyard by 12:30pm (it really does require 45 minutes to sign-in and line up). The procession steps off at 1:15pm. There will be no available parking at Cowell, so please get dropped off or take the bus. Leave bags at home unless you want to carry them in the procession.
More Event Details
ADMISSION TICKETS FOR GUESTS
No tickets required/issued, no limit on numbers of guests! However, every car coming onto campus that day must have a special Commencement Parking Pass.
PARKING: COMMENCEMENT WEEKEND
Parking on campus will be very limited, with 10 colleges having ceremonies. Each student who registered to participate will receive only two (2) parking passes for the day; you may need to squeeze, carpool, shuttle, take the bus, walk, or be otherwise creative. Guests arriving by car should have one of your two passes, place it on their dash, and follow the signs that read "EAST Side Commencements" and "Cowell." Parking officials use the event-specific parking pass to direct cars to the appropriate lot for the ceremony. Once parked, guests may shuttle or walk to the East Field ceremony site. See Step 9 above regarding parking pass distribution. The Cowell lots will not be available for parking, so make sure you have someone drop you off at the Cowell circle by 12:30pm (or take the bus).
Prior to the ceremony campus shuttles will bring guests from the designated commencement parking lots to the edge of the East Field. After the ceremony, shuttles will be available to directly transport guests either to the Cowell Circle (for the reception) or to the Commencement parking lot. The last shuttle from the reception to the lot is at 4:30pm.
Guests parking at the disabled lot (special pass required, see Step 6) will be transported by the campus Disability Van Service. Guests who are wheelchair users or who might not be able to climb the stairs of a campus shuttle should have a disability parking pass acquired for them by their graduate, as not all campus shuttles are wheelchair or scooter accessible.
As guests may not approach the stage during the ceremony to take photographs, professional photographers will be present and will take close-up, individual photographs of each graduate as they walk across the stage and receives a scroll from the Provost. If you would like to receive free digital proofs of your pictures, make sure you indicate that when you register for the event (Step 1). We will release your contact information to the photographer only if you authorize it.
Walk or shuttle to this celebratory reception, held at the Cowell Courtyard, immediately following the Commencement. There will be light refreshments, Cowell memorabilia for sale, and one last chance to take your picture with fabulous Sammy the Slug! The Commencement ends at 3pm and the reception ends by 4:30pm. Shuttles will be available at the Cowell Circle to return guests to the parking lot.
ACADEMIC HONORS AND COMMENCEMENT
Several types of academic honors are included in the Commencement print program and announced from the stage. These include honors determined at the college level (College Service Citations), departmental honors (Honors and Highest Honors in the Major), University Honors (i.e. cum laude), the Deans/Chancellor's Undergraduate Awards, and Phi Beta Kappa nominees. Some honorees may be designated "candidate for" certain honors, when official/final designation is contingent on the consideration of spring quarter grades (not yet be available at the time of the ceremony).
For honors to be printed and announced, they must be submitted to the Programs Office directly from the unit awarding the honors--deadlines for inclusion have been communicated to the academic units. Not all departments are able to identify the spring quarter honors in time to have them included in the print program and/or to be announced. All departmental honors we receive by the print deadline are included in the program: those submitted by Thursday, June 13, will be read from the stage (even if they were received too late for the inclusion in print program). If you have questions regarding your departmental honors status, please contact your department directly.
UCSC'S "NO PET" POLICY
Please remind your guests that UCSC has a "no pet" policy that is strictly enforced. (Animals utilized for disability accommodation as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act are allowed.) If you enter campus with a pet, you will be asked to leave. There are several "pet hotels" in Santa Cruz County equipped to board your pets; please check local listings.
LODGING AND DINNER RESERVATIONS
Make any reservations as soon as possible; there are ten UCSC College Commencements and many more celebrations during the weekend. Rooms/restaurants can book quickly.
FOR MORE INFORMATIONCowell Programs Office
Phone: (831) 459-2255
Office: Cowell Room 133
Mailing Address: Cowell College Programs, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064