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Graduation 2018-04-10T20:21:22+00:00


Degree Audit
Graduation for Department Coordinators
Learn about Commencement

Graduation vs. Commencement

Graduation is the act of receiving your degree, certificate or diploma after you have finished all course requirements. You must apply to graduate to let us know you are close to finishing your program of study.

Commencement is the ceremony held each June to honor all of that year’s graduates.

Read on for more about applying to graduate or visit our commencement page.
Learn about Commencement

When to apply to graduate

Apply when you are registered in your final quarter of classes. We use Degree Audit to check how close to completion you are and you can too! We will send your application back to you with a recommendation to see your advisor if you apply too early.

Steps to apply to graduate

  1. Submit the correct form, in person or by email to graduation@highline.edu or in the postal mail.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email to your Highline student email account stating that your application has been accepted (within 3 weeks of when we get your application form).
  3. After your confirmation email, you will pay the required graduation application fee if you have applied for a degree or high school diploma. The fee must be paid before we can print your diploma for you. Certificates do not require a fee.

Use a separate application form for each degree/certificate. (Degrees and certificates are listed in the Programs and Courses section of the website.)

After your application is accepted by graduation staff, it will be kept on file for one year (4 quarters). If you have not completed graduation requirements within one year, your application and evaluation will be archived. At that point you would need to reapply.

What happens after you apply

Within 3 weeks of applying, you will receive notification to your Highline student email that an official graduation evaluation has been completed and notes have been posted to the “Notes” tab in Degree Audit indicating the requirements that must be completed. Graduation evaluators will review your progress every quarter of attendance until requirements are completed. You will NOT be sent updates on a quarterly basis. It is your responsibility monitor your progress. See an advisor for assistance in class selection.
It is strongly recommended you visit your department coordinator ahead of applying to graduate. If a substitution or waiver is made, graduation evaluators must see notes in Degree Audit from your advisor/coordinator to update the evaluation.

Within 3 weeks of applying, you will receive confirmation of your accepted application to your Highline student email. Then, in the 8th week of the current quarter, you will receive notice that your application has been sent to the designated program advisor/coordinator to sign off on your graduation evaluation. The advisor/coordinator will post a completed evaluation in the “Notes” tab on Degree Audit. Graduation evaluators will review your progress every quarter of attendance until requirements are completed. You will NOT be sent updates on a quarterly basis. It is your responsibility to monitor your progress.

If you are earning a High School Diploma along with an Associate Degree, please follow the instructions for your Associate Degree. All you need to do is check the “Optional – High School Diploma with an Associate Degree” box on the graduation form.

If you are earning a High School Diploma only, it is strongly recommended you work with your High School Programs Coordinator prior to applying to graduate. Applications for stand-alone High School Diplomas receive confirmation within 3 weeks of application through Highline student email. In the 8th week of the current quarter, your application is sent for approval to the High School Programs Coordinator. The Coordinator will make evaluation note in the “Notes” tab on Degree Audit. Once approved for graduation, the Graduation Evaluator will enter High School Diploma to your transcript within 3 weeks of the grades posting for your final courses.

More Information About Graduation

To earn graduation with honors, your college level GPA must be 3.50 or higher at the time your last course requirement is completed. For those who have not yet graduated and want to participate in commencement, the college level GPA will be determined at the end of winter quarter for purposes of the commencement program.

Once requirements have been met:

  • Your degree, certificate or diploma will be entered on your transcript approximately 3 weeks after grades for your final quarter have been posted.
  • Your paper degree, certificate or diploma will be mailed to you within 15 business days of being entered on your transcript. The graduation application fee for a degree or high school diploma must be paid prior to the mailing of your paper copy.
  • If you need proof of your degree for a job application or entrance to another college, you may order an official transcript. Be sure to select the “after degree posts” option when ordering.

Use this Graduation Review Board Appeal form (PDF) to appeal a graduation decision to the college’s Graduation Review Board.

Only use this process if you have:

  1. Already applied to graduate
  2. Have already had a response back from our department saying you are not done with your degree or certificate
  3. Want to ask for an exception to program requirements in order to complete your degree or certificate

Do not use this form to reapply if you have taken additional courses since an old graduation application was returned to you. Use the regular graduation application above under “Steps to Apply” for this.

About the Graduation Appeal Review

Your appeal will be forwarded to a six member committee made up of the registrar, vice presidents and instructors. At least four members must vote and a majority vote is required to grant an appeal or waiver.. The decision of the Graduation Review Board is final. There is no other method of appeal.

The Graduation Review Board will contact you by your Highline student email with the outcome of the appeal. Please allow 8 weeks for the appeal to be circulated and a decision to be reached.