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2016 Commencement Ceremony

Commencement is our annual celebration for the year's graduates.
Students who have graduated/plan to graduate Summer 2015 to Summer 2016
are included in the 2016 Commencment Ceremony.

You must apply for graduation in order to earn your
degree, diploma, or certificate and to participate in commencement.

NOTE: Participation is not required to receive your degree, certificate, high school diploma, or GED.

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Time: 6:30 p.m.

ShoWare Center, Kent, WA

Apply For Graduation

Graduation applications for degrees, diplomas, and certificates are available here.

Alumni Registration

Become a member of Highline's Alumni Association here.

Graduate Instructions

Parking and Directions

Grad Fair

Disability Accommodations

ShoWare Center recognizes the needs of guests with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and makes every effort to comply with State and Federal accessibility regulations and accommodations for guests with disabilities. The arena has been carefully designed to meet the needs of guests with disabilities. Showare Seating Chart (PDF)

Easy Access: Convenient ground-level access to ShoWare Center is available at the south entrance, where patrons can use an elevator to the top seating bowl if necessary. 

Parking: On both the east and west side of the arena there are accessible parking spaces which are available for our guests with disabilities. Vehicles legally using disabled license plates or window cards are permitted to park in these designated spaces.

Elevator: A public elevator is available at the southwest corner of the arena.

Graduate Accommodations: If you are a graduate and will be requiring accomodations for commencement, please contact the Access Services office two weeks prior to the event. Access Services can be contacted at or (206) 592-3857.

Sign Language Interpeting Services: If you are a guest attending commencement and require a sign language interpreting services, please look for the reserved seating (Section 114) for this accomodation.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures: Designated ShoWare Center ushers and other personnel have been trained in proper procedures for emergency preparedness. These designated staff members will have the primary duty of assisting guests with disabilities to specific locations.

First Aid: Guests in need of First Aid should inform the closest usher. The First Aid Office is in the northwest corner of the arena, outside Section 112.

Restrooms: Public restrooms are accessible to guests with disabilities.

Concession Stands: All concession stands are accessible at ShoWare Center. If guests with disabilities require assistance at any service area, please notify the nearest staff member.

Service Animals: Service animals for the disabled are permitted in ShoWare Center. If accommodations are required for your service animal, please notify ShoWare.

Animals: We permit no animals in ShoWare Center other than animals that are certified "Working Dogs" and are in service to assist disabled guests and must remain on a leash or harness at all times. 


To ensure the quality of graduate photographs, Highline College has arranged to have a professional photographer take your picture at the moment you receive your diploma cover. Pictures can be ordered before or after commencement at Private Sessions are available onsite or in advance (please contact the photographer for details).

Photography Ordering Form (PDF)

Pictures are now available for online viewing / ordering

Commencement FAQ

Academic Regalia

Are caps and gowns required for me to participate in this year’s commencement ceremony?

Yes, caps and gowns are required to participate in this year’s commencement ceremony and must be purchased or obtained in advance of the ceremony.

Where can I purchase a cap and gown?

Caps and gowns will be available for purchase at the Highline Bookstore on March 30th, 2016.

Can I use a cap and gown that I already have?

Yes, as long as the color of your cap and gown is black.

What about honor cords?

If you are receiving an Associate Degree and your college level GPA is 3.50 or greater as of the end of Winter Quarter, you are graduating with honors and eligible to wear an honor cord. All academic regalia including honor cords, tassels, caps and gowns, can be purchased at the Highline Bookstore.

On which side of my cap should I wear my tassel?

At the beginning of the ceremony all participants will wear their tassel on the left side of their cap (Men please remove caps for the National Anthem). Once all degrees, diplomas, and certificates have been conferred, graduates will be instructed to move their tassels from the left side of their caps to the right.

Guest Questions

Do I need a ticket to attend Highline College’s Commencement Ceremony?

No, tickets are not required to attend.

How long will Commencement last?

Graduate check-in will begin at 4:30 p.m., the ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m. and should conclude by 9:00 p.m. Due to the overall length of the ceremony it is recommended that guests make appropriate arrangements.

Can guests bring balloons or flowers for graduates ?

You are welcome to bring flowers for graduates, but balloons are NOT permitted inside the arena (per ShoWare policy).

When will ShoWare Center open for guests of the graduates?

ShoWare Center will open for guest seating at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, June 16th, 2016.

Will there be concessions available during Commencement?

Yes. Concessions will be available throughout the Commencement Ceremony.

Where should I meet my Graduate after the Commencement Ceremony has concluded? 

Friends and family members will not be allowed onto the arena floor. Please plan to meet your graduate on the Main Concourse on the 1st Floor or outside ShoWare Center’s main south doors.

Graduate Questions

Where can I keep my personal belongings during the ceremony?

Please leave personal belongings (bags, purses, etc.) with friends or family prior to the ceremony, there is no place to lock or secure personal items during Commencement.

Will I get my degree, diploma or certificate at Commencement? 

During the ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover.  Degrees, diplomas, and certificates are not distributed during the Commencement Ceremony. You will receive your physical degree, diploma or certificate in the mail once all requirements are completed, your grades have been posted, and all financial obligations to the College (e.g., fines, etc.) have been met. Please refer to the Graduation page for more information.

Commencement Live