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Christy Banales

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Your Question: Graduation

(714) 892-7711 ext. 58420



Welcome to the GWC Graduation Page. Here you will find information on applying for graduation, graduation requirements, Commencement and more.


Congratulations Class of 2022! Golden West College is excited to celebrate the achievements of our graduates at this year's in-person Commencement Ceremony.

More details and/or updated information will be added here in the coming weeks.

When is the ceremony?
The ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 26th, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. on the central quad in front of Student Services Center and will last approximately 2 hours.  Graduates start lining up by 5:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center
Seating is on a first come first serve basis. Graduates cannot leave the event early.

When is deadline to RSVP?
Friday May 20th, 2022 at 11:59PM. All students who have submitted a petition was sent an invite to their student and personal emails that contained Commencement infomation with a link to RSVP. You can also RSVP here as well.

Will there be a rehearsal?
Rehearsal will be on the day of the ceremony, in the afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Please meet at the Central Quad.

Anything else happening for graduates during that day?
Yes! A BBQ for all students to celebrate the graduation class before the student commencement rehearsal sponsored by ASGWC. From 11am to 1pm located in the student union patio.

After the ceremony, there will be a reception for all graduates and their guests on the patio area in front of the Math and Science building / STEM Center immediately following the ceremony. 

Will the event have accommodations for students and guests with disabilities?
It is important to us that you and your guests have a wonderful time celebrating you and your success. However, it is limited to the guest with the disability and one other family member.  Guests in wheelchairs will be in a roped off area at the northwest corner of the quad, across from the Humanities building.

Where do I purchase my gap and gown?
Cap and gown can be purchased in the GWC bookstore beginning now. Prices are as follows:

Cap, gown, and classic tassel: $54.98 + tax

  • Forest Green Gowns for degrees
  • Gold Gowns for certificates
Cap alone: $11.98+ tax
Classic tassel: $6.98 + tax
  • Forest Green tassels for degrees
  • Gold tassels for certificates
  • Forest Green/Gold tassels for degrees and certificates

Sizes will be limited to what is available on hand. The last day to pick up your cap and gown will be on graduation day at 12:00 p.m.
Graduates in Special Programs should contact your program’s office for instructions on acquiring regalia.

Will there be professional photos taken at the ceremony?
Yes, there will be photos taken by GradImages. When you RSVP online for the ceremony, you are signing the photography release form by submitting the RSVP.

Register for you Graduation Ceremony photos early and get 20% off. Visit for details.

Will there be a live feed for guests who cannot attend?
On the day of the ceremony a link to the GWC YouTube page will be found here so your friends and family can join in the celebration.  

What will I receive on stage at the ceremony?
You will receive a diploma holder as your name is being announced at the ceremony. You will not receive your diploma during the ceremony. The holder is suitable for holding and displaying your diploma. Diploma holders are only given out to those who attend the ceremony. We anticipate diplomas will be ready during the month of July. An email will be sent out when they are ready.

If I walk in commencement, does that mean I have been awarded my degree?
Since commencement takes place during the last week of Spring, all Summer and Fall graduates have been awarded their degree on their GWC official transcript. As for all Spring graduates, since final evaluation happens after commencement, please note that Spring graduates who participate in the ceremony may be denied the degree if they do not meet all necessary requirements during the final evaluation after grades post.

What if I cannot attend the graduation ceremony?
For students not planning to attend the graduation ceremony, diplomas will be available for pick up approximately 10 weeks after the end of the semester. They will be available for pick up for two weeks, the remaining diplomas will be mailed to the address we have on file. Please make sure we have your updated address on file.

What are the COVID guidelines for ceremony?
Currently there are no distancing guidelines since it is outdoors. Should anything change, we will have updated information that you can find here.

Recognition for Graduation with Honors?
Associate Degree and Associates Degree for Transfer students, who graduated with honors in Summer, Fall, and students who have potential honors for Spring, will receive gold honors cords to wear at the May commencement ceremony. In addition, the names of students receiving honors will appear in the Commencement Program. Students only receive an honor cord if the participate in the Commencement. The week of Commencement, honor students who RSVP’d will get an email regarding pick-up of the cords at the GWC bookstore. Please see the  GRADUATING WITH HONORS tab below for more details.


11:00 pm – 1:00 pm – BBQ for all students to celebrate the graduation class.
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Rehearsal for students at the Central Quad
2:00 pm – Check-in with the Graduation Team across from the Bookstore on Main Street
4:30 pm – Late check with the Graduation Team in the Multipurpose Room at the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center
5:00 pm – Processional formation begins by the Multipurpose Room at the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center
5:30 pm – Ceremony begins (Reception to follow)

This is your time to be recognized for your achievement by the college’s faculty, staff, family, and friends.  We look forward to honoring you at the ceremony. 


Graduation Application Procedures

A student's academic progress in their certificate and/or degree program is monitored by the Admissions & Records Office. Students need to submit a petition for graduation to ensure a full evaluation of completed coursework. Degrees and certificates are not automatically awarded when you have completed all your requirements. If you are seeking an Associates Degree or a Certificate, you may submit a petition to graduate during the filing periods. Please petition during your last semester using this form (see below).


Graduation Period AA/AS Filing Period ADT Filing Period Diplomas Mailed* (approximate)
Summer July 1 - August 1 July 1 - August 1 October
Fall August 15 - November 15 August 15 - September 15 March
Spring January 15 - April 15 January 15 - February 15 July

*Diplomas will be mailed to the address on file. Any address changes after a petition has been filed should be sent to
Please be advised that the months displayed for diploma mailings are estimated timelines. There may be unforeseen circumstances which may cause delays to diplomas being sent out (e.g., USPS/International shipping delays). We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Note: The filing period for the Associate Degree for Transfer, ADT is early in the term to allow for appropriate reporting of degree progress to the CSU E-Verify system. If a student is completing an ADT and misses the priority filing deadline, this will impact reporting to the CSU, and may jeopardize CSU admission. Students are encouraged to file the petition to graduate anytime during the AA/AS filing period.

Degrees and certificates are awarded after the semester ends and grades have been posted. The transcript will show the last day of the semester as the graduation date. 

Note: if a break in enrollment occurs resulting in the loss of Catalog Rights (see Policies and Regulations section of this catalog) students must comply with the competency, general education, and major course requirements in effect at the time the student resumes attendance in order to meet Graduation requirements.

Pre-graduation check: students who have completed 30 units of college course work may request a pre-graduation check.

Graduation Petition Form


Previous Graduation


Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Celebration

Click here to view the celebration

Commencement Program


Commencement Program [PDF]

Commencement Program FlipBook


View the Commencement Program FlipBook

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