Caps Off to the Class of 2022!

Make sure that you’ve completed the graduation requirements to walk in this year’s commencement ceremony.


Yusra Jaleel, Staff Writer

With this year’s commencement ceremony fast approaching, it’s important for graduating College of DuPage students to verify they are on track with the deadlines and forms required for their degree and participation. 

As the first in-person graduation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students who’ve joined the COD community in the midst of virtual learning may be unfamiliar with the process and preparation. Luckily, the college has provided a Graduate Checklist containing details of each step and their respective deadlines for students to stay informed and ahead. 

Students should begin by closely monitoring their degree completion status through MyAccess under the “Register using Student Planning” tab. Upon choosing “Go to My Progress,” the website provides the student’s prospective degree title, cumulative and institutional GPA, a breakdown of course requirements and the specific classes the student has taken to meet those highlighted in green. If a required component has not been met, it is highlighted in red, and the student is given a list of COD courses that may satisfy the requirement. A green bar at the top of the page notes the student’s progress towards a degree based on the number of completed credits. 

All requirements must be completed or in progress for the term to be eligible for a degree. There is an exception for summer applicants who are accepted for commencement prior to summer registration if there is a reasonable expectation for required courses to be completed during the Summer 2022 term. 

Next, graduates should file an Application for Degree or Certificate one term before they expect the completion of all degree requirements. The Graduation Department of the Office of Student Records will determine the validity of the student’s application and provide an official evaluation within six to eight weeks. Once processed and approved, the student will be granted access to event registration for the commencement ceremony in Marching Order after about five business days. The deadline for Marching Order registration is Monday, April 25. 

Although the Application for Degree or Certificate is officially due Monday, April 11 to be included in the graduation ceremony, it is in the student’s best interest to submit this as soon as possible. Submissions are evaluated for Outstanding Graduate consideration, and those that qualify will need to complete the application then sent by Academic Affairs by a much earlier date; this year’s applications were due by March 6.

Students interested in their names appearing in the commencement program also needed to submit their Application for Degree or Certificate by March 15. Although graduates are still eligible to attend the ceremony when submitting the application after this date, their names will be left off the program. 

As of March 20, there is not yet an established deadline for ordering graduation regalia, including stoles and chords. 

Graduates are mailed a free, printed diploma six to eight weeks following the completion of the semester. However, students have the option of indicating they would prefer to pick up their printed diploma on the Application for Degree or Certificate. School officials will contact those students once their diplomas are ready to be picked up. Graduates also have the option of purchasing a Certified Electronic Diploma for $10.95. Diploma covers are handed to graduates walking in the commencement ceremony. 

The commencement ceremony for the class of 2022 will occur May 20 at 7 p.m. in the physical education arena. The Courier did not receive a response when inquiring to the commencement and graduation departments on the structure of the event and any social-distancing rules, however the college’s Graduate Checklist will continue to be updated with new details as they are established.

Graduating from a school is completing an entire chapter of your life. This May, students of all ages, studies and backgrounds will complete their journeys at College of DuPage and move onto the next steps of their lives. 

Culinary Arts Graduate Luis Medina will earn his associates in applied sciences degree when he walks in the commencement ceremony. Medina is a 3 + 1 student who began his studies here in 2019 prior to the pandemic. 

“I expect that commencement this year will be a relief for a lot of us, especially being in person. We’ve worked through such tough times, and we finally get a chance to get together and celebrate our struggles being worth something,” Medina said when asked about his expectations of the in-person ceremony. “This achievement for me is way more than a degree. It is a reminder that with perseverance and patience, I can accomplish things that have seemed overwhelming.”

Tuyen Nguyen will graduate with her applied arts degree in accounting at the end of this semester.

“It’s been a little while of a stay at COD. I love everyone here. All my professors have been very nice and helpful,” Nguyen said. “I appreciate my counselor, Sue, who guided me to the next steps for me and helped me with my application to my next school.”  

For questions, contact the Office of Student Records via email at [email protected] or [email protected] or stop by SRC 2150 Monday through Friday from 8-5 p.m.