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Commencement 2018-06-13T16:34:24+00:00


2018 Commencement Ceremony

We look forward to seeing you in June!

Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018

Start Time: 5 p.m.

Estimated End Time: 7 p.m.*

Graduate check-in: 4–4:30 p.m.

ShoWare doors open: 4 p.m.

Location: ShoWare Center
625 W James Street
Kent, WA 98032

*(End time dependent on number of attendees)


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Grad Fair 2018

Grad Fair is over for this year. Thank you for joining us!

Cap and gown information can still be found on the Bookstore website.


Commencement Checklist: Get Ready!

Your to-do list for the big day:

  1. RSVP to commencement (RSVP is now closed for 2018 – feel free to come join us anyway!).
    This ensures we will have check-in materials ready for you!
  2. Apply to Graduate (Required – Complete this after you have registered for your final quarter classes)
    Though all are welcome to join in Commencement, for your name to appear in the Commencement Program you must:
    1. Finish your program between Summer 2017 & Summer 2018
    2. Apply to graduate by May 25, 2018 at 5 pm
  3. Get your Cap and Gown (Required)
    In order to participate as a graduate, you need to wear a black cap and gown in the traditional college graduation style. Caps and gowns will need to be planned for in advance, they will not be available for purchase at the event.Caps and gowns will be available for pre-order purchase at the Highline Bookstore starting April 16.
    Students graduating with a degree and 3.5 GPA or higher after Winter 2018 grades can purchase Honor Cords from the Highline College Bookstore.You can also buy or borrow a cap and gown from somewhere else. Reusing/recycling is great, as long as the color of your cap and gown is black.
  4. Pick up your “pre-check” card in the Highline Bookstore (Recommended)
    After receiving a confirmation of RSVP from the Highline Graduation team, your name card will be available for pick up in the Highline Bookstore. Pick it up to skip the line on the day of the big event! We print cards on a weekly basis, so please wait for email confirmation before making the trip.
  5. Commencement Photography (Recommended) There will be a professional photographer to take your picture on stage at the moment you receive your diploma cover! Pictures can be ordered before or after commencement through Darel Roa Photography. Private Sessions are also available onsite or in advance. Flyer available online. Contact the Darel Roa Photography for details.
  6. Join the Highline Alumni Association (Recommended) Check out the Alumni Relations page, stay connected to the college and have a source of support for your future educational or career goals!

Once you have applied to graduate and RSVP’ed, all you need to do is show up in your cap and gown on June 14 at ShoWare no later than 4:30 PM!
Scroll down for more about checking-in at Commencement.

Checking in at Commencement on June 14

You have two options for how to check in as a Graduate on the big day:

Option 1: Pre-Check (New this year!)

We are offering graduates a chance to pick up the commencement materials that they would usually get on the day of the event and skip the check in line. If you “pre-check” and hang on to your commencement materials, you can cut your wait time down from an hour to as little as 30 minutes.
Pre-check by following these steps:

  1. RSVP for Commencement.
  2. Visit the Highline Bookstore to pick up your check-in materials.
    After receiving a confirmation of RSVP from the Highline Graduation team, your name card will be available for pick up in the Highline Bookstore. Pick it up to skip the line on the day of the big event! We print cards on a weekly basis, so please wait for email confirmation before making the trip.
  3. Hold on to your envelope!
    It has your name card so the commencement reader can call your name and your photo card (please fill it out) to hand to the photography assistant as you cross the stage.
  4. Show up on June 14 at 4:30 pm (Instead of at 4 pm like everyone else). Enter through the north side of ShoWare Center in the loading dock area. If you have your check in items with you, you can head straight into the commencement seating line up and skip the check in line.

Option 2: Checking in on June 14

  1. RSVP for Commencement.
  2. Show up on June 14 at 4:00 pm. Enter through the north side of ShoWare Center in the loading dock area for graduate lineup. There will be tables with letters A-Z. Line up by the first letter of your last name and a volunteer will check you in. Then you will be directed to the commencement seating line.

The Commencement Ceremony

What to Expect During the Ceremony:

The Commencement Ceremony is a historic tradition that celebrates the transition for a graduate between student and their after-college life. The commencement ceremony varies in time from 2 to 3 hours depending on the number of graduates participating. Out of respect for tradition and for your fellow graduates, plan to stay through the full event.

Commencement has four basic parts:

  1. Processional, Marching and Seating: Graduates who have been checked-in are led by commencement marshals to the seating area. Be sure your tassel is draped over the right front quarter of your cap. Please refrain from talking once you are in the arena. Upon reaching your seat, please remain standing until you are directed to be seated by the Commencement Master of Ceremonies.
  2. The Address: Various speakers including the President of the college, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, a student selected Class Speaker and/or a noted Alumnus of the college will speak.
  3. Conferral of Degrees: After The Address, Highline College’s President will ask all students and faculty to stand for the conferral of degrees. He will then ask that all but the first row of graduates be seated. Graduates in the first row will then be directed to proceed, on signal from the marshals, in a line to the platform stairs. Present your photo card to the photographer’s assistant and your name card to one of the presenters, wait for your name to be announced, proceed across the stage to receive the diploma cover and be directed to exit the platform. Please be seated immediately. The remaining rows will follow as directed by the marshals.
  4. The Recessional: During the recessional, the people sitting on the stage will exit the stage first, followed by the faculty. Graduating students will remain standing and leave the seating area in a line when the marshals give the appropriate signal. Graduates will be led to the south exit doors and onto the concourse area outside of ShoWare to meet friends/family.

Commencement Live Stream June 14, 2018 Starting at 5 pm

For live captions of the commencement ceremony, use the link will be provided above.

Information for Guests

Welcome Family and Friends!

The Commencement Ceremony with take place at ShoWare Center in Kent. Doors open at 4:00 PM. The ceremony starts at 5:00 PM and is expected to end around 7:oo PM. The end time is estimated because it depends on how many graduates attend. No guest tickets are required.

Guest Etiquette

Commencement is a time of celebration and recognition of academic success and is regarded as an important rite of passage for student and their families. We ask that when you attend this respected tradition please plan on staying for the duration of the ceremony.

  • Graduate Gifts: Leis and bouquets are permitted. Balloons are not permitted inside the venue.
  • Guest Seating: Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. ShoWare is an accessible facility (see below for details).

Security Information

All graduates and guests will need to go through a security checkpoint prior to entering the facility.
ShoWare respectfully requests that guests and graduates refrain from bringing the following items in the facility:

  • No purses or bags larger than 11 inches x 14 inches
  • No backpacks
  • No drugs
  • No alcohol
  • No weapons
  • No outside food, drinks, cans, bottles, or containers of any kind.

Parking and Transportation

Parking at ShoWare is free. You and your guests should park in the parking lot located at ShoWare Center, at the Municipal Court parking garage across the street or the Kent Park and Ride lot, just West of ShoWare.

Detailed directions are available on the ShoWare Center website.

There are many bus lines that serve the area. For more information, visit the Metro King County site.

After the Ceremony

Please plan to meet your friends/family outside of the ShoWare Center near the main entrance on James Street. Plan for a lot of people doing the same thing, stay in cell phone contact or pick a landmark to meet next to so you don’t lose your loved ones in the crowd.

Ability Related Accommodations

ShoWare Center recognizes the needs of differently able guests and the arena has been carefully designed to meet the needs of guests with disabilities. If you have specific concerns, please visit the ShoWare center policy site regarding ADA Access. If you will be needing additional services at commencement, please contact Highline College Access Services.

For live captions of the commencement ceremony, a link will be provided in the Commencement Ceremony section of this page in June.

Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Regalia

Yes, caps and gowns are required to participate in the commencement ceremony and must be purchased or obtained in advance of the ceremony.
Caps and gowns will be available for purchase at the Highline Bookstore starting April 16. Pricing and other details on the Highline Bookstore website.
Yes, as long as the color of your cap and gown is black.
If you are receiving an Associate Degree and your college level GPA is 3.50 or greater at the end of winter quarter, you will eligible to wear an honor cord. All academic regalia including honor cords, tassels, caps and gowns, can be purchased at the Highline Bookstore.
At the beginning of the ceremony all participants will wear their tassel on the right side of their cap. Once all students have crossed the stage and had their names read, graduates will be instructed to move their tassels from the right side of their caps to the left

Guest Questions

No, tickets are not required to attend. But we ask graduates to please RSVP so we know you are coming (RSVP site available April 16 to June 13).
Yes. The Registrar can send a letter to your out-of-country guests for visa purposes.
Please fill out the request form and return it to the Registration counter on the lower level of building 6.

Request to Invite Out-of-Country Guests Form
Graduate check-in will begin at 4:00 pm, the ceremony will start at 5:00 pm and should conclude approximately by 7:00 pm. The end time is an estimate depending on how many students attend. Due to the overall length of the ceremony it is recommended that guests make appropriate arrangements. Please plan to stay for the whole event. This could be between 2 and 3 hours.
You are welcome to bring flowers for graduates, but balloons are NOT permitted inside the arena (per ShoWare policy).
ShoWare Center will open for guest seating at 4:00 pm, Thursday, June 14th, 2018.
Yes. Concessions will be available throughout the Commencement Ceremony.
Friends and family members will not be allowed onto the arena floor. Please plan to meet your graduate at ShoWare Center’s main south doors outside on the concourse after the Commencement Ceremony.

Graduate Questions

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.
During the ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover. Degrees, diplomas, and certificates are not distributed during the Commencement Ceremony. You must apply to graduate in your final quarter of class requirements in order to receive your degree, certificate or diploma. After applying, 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 webpage for more information.
Yes. We consider the 2018 year graduates to include everyone who graduated starting in Summer 2017 all the way to those who will graduate at the end of Summer 2018.

The Summer-to-Summer definition lets you decide if you would rather walk now – because you are almost done – or walk in next June’s commencement when all your class requirements have been met. To make sure your name is included in the 2018 Commencement Program, be sure to enroll in your final summer classes and apply to graduate before May 25, 2018.