GWC - Grad Students


Program Cover

Commencement Program: Download PDF or view online Flipbook

Virtual Commencement Ceremony on Golden West College YouTube Channel

We are excited to celebrate the achievements of our graduates! We encourage our graduates to join us in this dynamic virtual format. All graduates should know the following:

  • Golden West College is holding our virtual ceremony on Thursday, May 27th 2021 at 5:30 p.m. on to commemorate and celebrate our graduates. The live streaming ceremony program begins with an address from the campus President, distinguished faculty, and students. Following the address’s each graduates’ name will be announced and recognition of their conferred awards will be displayed on the screen.
  • The virtual ceremony is open to all and we encourage family and friends to join. There is no registration required to view the Virtual Commencement Ceremony.
  • Check out our Graduation Social Wall! The wall is an opportunity for graduates and their families to share photos and messages of celebration. Use the #gwcgrad2021 hashtag when posting on Instagram and Twitter and they will be shared on our Wall. Show us how you are virtually celebrating this year!
  • Graduates will be mailed their diploma and/or certificate after the semester concludes and the college has verified successful completion of all institutional requirements to graduate. This may 8-10 weeks after the semester ends.

The Virtual Commencement Ceremony will premiere on May 27, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. (PST).

Following the ceremony premiere, it will be remain available to view at any time in the future.

Grad Parade — Friday, May 28, 2021 — 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

We will be holding a special event on campus to honor YOU!
You are invited to participate in the GWC Grad Parade!
During the parade you will drive through campus to:

  • Pick up your special GRAD PACK with your diploma cover and other special GWC goodies! The first 200 cars lined up will also get tassels and magnets!
  • Drive along the parade route with GWC faculty and staff cheering you on and celebrating your accomplishments!
  • Take an optional professional graduation photo with Grad Images.

Please note that your participation will be voluntary and safety measures will be in place.

RSVP by May 21 at 12:00 pm

The link to RSVP was emailed to all graduates, but if you did not receive one please email Meredith Carr at

What to bring and wear

  • Feel free to decorate your car.
  • Members of your immediate household may join you in 1 (one) vehicle only. For your safety, we ask that graduates avoid carpooling with others who do not reside within the same home.
  • Wear your cap and gown, GWC gear, etc.
  • Please do not bring confetti or streamers.

Professional Graduation Photos (optional)

  • Grad Images will be present if you would like a professional graduation photo.
  • After going through the parade, follow directional signage to park in Lot F and get in line to take a professional photo.
  • Images will be available for purchase from Grad Images at a later date.

Health & Safety

  • Graduates may only exit their car when getting in line to take a professional graduation photo by Grad Images.
  • All employee volunteers will be wearing a mask and spaced at least 6 ft. apart.

If you any further questions, please email the Dean of Students & Library, Dr. Carla Martinez, at


Graduates can visit the Herff Jones website to purchase regalia and other commemorative graduation items before the ceremony as a keepsake for their hard work and achievement at Golden West College. Although regalia is not required to participate in Commencement exercises, graduates may wish to dress in regalia for their Virtual Commencement photo or video.

In addition to regalia, which includes a cap with tassel and gown, graduates may purchase personalized graduation announcements, diploma frames, and class rings via Herff Jones' website. Graduates in Special Programs should contact your program’s office for instructions on acquiring regalia.

Order your regalia by April 27, orders after April 28 will incur expedited shipping fees.

Graduation Information

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
Summer July 1 - August 1 July 1 - August 1
Fall August 15 - November 15 August 15 - September 15
Spring January 15 - April 15 January 15 - February 15


Graduation FAQ

  1. What will happen after I submit the graduation petition? Your petition will go through a series of evaluation. Please ensure successful completion of all your in progress courses. If you do not have in progress courses, no further action is required unless notified.
  2. Will I be notified of my status? If you are required to perform further action or have been denied, you will be notified through your student email and personal email (if any). All students may check their unofficial transcript for most updated degree/certificate status.
  3. How do I update my mailing and email address? You may update your mailing and personal email address by logging on to your MyGWC account.
  4. When is commencement? Graduation ceremony, also known as Commencement, takes place every year towards the end of May after the Spring semester to celebrate the previous years Summer and Fall graduates, as well as this years Spring graduates.
  5. How do I RSVP for commencement? Even though commencement is not mandatory, we encourage you to join us in celebrating your success. Beginning of May, the graduation department will contact all students through email with all necessary commencement information.
  6. Will I receive my diploma at commencement? No, students will only receive diploma covers at commencement. Your diploma will be available for pick up when you receive an email notification (typically 2-3 months after the semester is over) from the graduation department. If you are unavailable to pick up your diploma, we will mail it to your mailing address after 3 weeks from the email notification.
  7. 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.

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Associates Degree


To earn an Associates Degree, you must (1) complete one option of general education patterns, as well as (2) meet requirements for your chosen Major offered at Golden West College, (3) have at least 60 units toward your degree, meet 12 residency units at GWC, and (4) meet the minimum GPA requirements.

  1. Complete one of the following:

OPTION 1 Career Focus

OPTION 2 CSU Breadth Requirements

OPTION 3 IGETCIntersegmentall General Education Transfer Curriculum) Requirements

  1. Complete required major courses with grades C or better.
  1. Units and Residency requirements:Students must complete at least 60 degree units. A minimum of 12 units must be taken at Golden West College. At least six of these units must be in courses required for the major.
  2. GPA requirements:Students must have a cumulative minimum 2.0 grade point average. All courses required for the Major must be completed with a grade of C or better.

What is an Associate Degree?

The associate degree is typically completed in two years and has two main purposes. It prepares the student to transfer to a four-year university, or is intended to prepare the student for immediate employment.

Please Note:

If you began your studies at GWC before FALL 2008 and have maintained continuous enrollment (completion of at least one college course per catalog year), you may be able to graduate under the old requirements. Please contact your counselor in regards to your educational plan.

Associates Degree for Transfer


  1. Minimum of 60 CSU-transferable semester units.
  2. Cumulative minimum 2.0 grade point average.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 18 semester units in a specific AD-T major. All courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C or better or a P if the course is taken on a pass/no pass basis (title 5 55063).
  4. Certified completion of the OPTION 2 CSU Breadth Requirements [PDF] or OPTION 3 Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) [PDF] Please consult with a counselor for more information.

What is an Associates of Art for Transfer (AA-T) or Associates of Science for Transfer (AS-T)?

The AA-T or AS-T (also known as AD-T: Associates Degree for Transfer) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelors degree in a similar major at a California State University (CSU) campus. Students completing these AD-T are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major.

Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

What does this mean for GWC students?

  • By following this degree pattern, you will complete OPTION 2 CSU Breadth Requirements [PDF].
  • You will be CSU General Education Certified This will appear on your official GWC transcript.
  • You will be ready to apply to the CSU.
  • You will have completed the Major Preparatory Requirements for your degree program.
Coursework from Other Colleges

Official transcripts from all other institutions you have attended must be submitted to the Admissions & Records before petitioning to graduate for a degree or certificate. You do not need to submit official transcripts from Orange Coast College or Coastline Community College.


Official transcripts from other institutions must be submitted in a sealed envelope. Students may personally hand in their transcripts, have it sent directly from the institutions, or if the other institutions permit, students may have e-transcripts emailed to

Course Substitutions

What is a course substitution?

If you believe a course taken at GWC or at another institution should be used to substitute for a requirement within a major or certificate, you may file a Course Substitution Form [PDF].


Please submit this form to the Admissions & Records prior or concurrent to petitioning for graduation. Course Substitution Forms must be complete with Instructors signature and a signature from either the chair or Dean of the department being petitioned. Please submit any necessary official transcript and/or course descriptions and/or course syllabus with the course substitution. Incomplete forms will not be processed.

Please Note: The Course Substitution Form may not be used for courses being used toward an AD-T. Students attempting to fulfill AD-T requirements with coursework from other colleges or institutions must speak with a counselor for evaluation.

Duplicate Diploma

Due to the recent campus closure we are unable to process duplicate diploma orders at this time.

To show proof of degree please order official transcripts. Official transcript orders can be placed at:

Mailing Address:

Golden West College Admissions and Records Office
ATTN: Graduation 15744 Goldenwest St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

For further questions regarding graduation you may contact the Graduation Clerk at

Helpful Links:

The California Community Colleges Chancellors Office:

The California State University:

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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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