Saturday, May 4, 2024
One ceremony at 10:00 AM for all Degrees and Technical Certificates.
Live Video Stream
Commencement Program

Important Notices:

This year the Commencement/Graduation ceremony will be Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. in W.S. Scott Auditorium.


Parking is available on the East and North side of W.S. Scott Auditorium, located at 216 W. 5th Avenue. Additional parking lots are accessible to the North and South of the Galle-Johnson Building and along the side streets. The block directly in front of the W.S. Scott Auditorium will be blocked off by Campus Security. However, should guests with special accessibility need to be dropped off near the door, campus representatives will help provide access. We encourage guests with special accessibility needs to arrive early and locate designated parking spots in the lot located between Galle-Johnson and the Brown Center, in the lot located to the East of W.S. Scott and/or along the side streets. Campus Security will have a small buggy available to help transport guests with accessibility needs to and from their vehicles.

Entering & Exiting

We ask all guests to enter the ceremony at the Main Entrance of W.S. Scott Auditorium on 5th Avenue. Following the ceremony, guests may exit through the front as well as one of the four exits, which are located on each corner of the building. Should an emergency evacuation be necessary, we ask guests to leave the building out of the exit nearest to their seat.


Seating on the gym floor is reserved for student-graduates, faculty, and staff only. Seating above the gym floor is provided for Commencement guests. An elevator is located inside the main entrance of W.S. Scott, which provides access to seating for those with special accessibility needs. Should seating in the gym reach maximum capacity, overflow seating will be available in the Brown Center Wright Room located at 215 S. 2nd Street, where the live stream of the Commencement will be shown. Designated ushers will assist attendees in finding their way to the overflow seating if necessary.

Graduate Candidate Commencement Instructions

General Info

Graduation Eligibility

  • How do I know if I am eligible to graduate?
    Candidates for graduation must meet all academic requirements. All graduation candidates must complete a degree application to graduate.
  • How do I apply for graduation?
    Degree Applications are available through your Cowley Connect Account on the Graduation Tab. Look under "Apply for My Degree Online."
  • Is there a deadline to submit my degree application?
    Yes, degree applications must be submitted by the following dates; October 1 for fall degree completion, March 1 for spring degree completion and July 1 for summer degree completion.
  • Do I have to pay a fee to graduate?
    No. Cowley College does not charge a fee to graduate. Graduation candidates who choose to participate in the Commencement Ceremony will be charged $35 for the cap, gown and tassel. The $35 apparel fee must be paid in full at the Cowley Bookstore prior to receiving your commencement apparel.

About Commencement

  • What is Commencement?
    Commencement is the formal ceremony which recognizes and celebrates graduation candidates. Students, who completed degree requirements in July and December, as well as those who expect to complete their requirements in May and July, will be invited to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony.
  • When is Commencement?
    Commencement is Saturday, May 4, 2024. There will be one ceremony at 10:00 a.m. for all Degrees and Technical Certificates.
  • Where will Commencement be held?
    Commencement will be held at the W.S. Scott Auditorium located at the corner of 2nd Street and Fifth Avenue on the main campus in Arkansas City. Check the master calendar for the exact date.
  • Are tickets required for graduates or guests?
    Tickets are not required of graduates or their guests. You may invite as many guests as you wish to the Commencement Ceremony, seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors will open to the public 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. Individuals needing special parking and seating accommodations, should plan to arrive 30 minutes in advance as this space is limited. All guests should be seated 10 minutes prior to the ceremony for the start of the academic procession which begins 5 minutes before the hour.
  • How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?
    The Commencement Ceremony will last at least one hour.

Participating in Commencement

  • Is there a fee to participate in the Commencement Ceremony?
    Graduation candidates who choose to participate in the Commencement Ceremony will be charged $35 for the cap, gown and tassel. The $35 apparel fee must be paid in full at the Cowley Bookstore prior to receiving your commencement apparel. The Cowley Bookstore accepts cash, check and all major credit cards.
  • Will there be a rehearsal for the Commencement Ceremony?
    No. Candidates for graduation will receive instructions immediately preceding the Commencement Ceremony.
  • When and where do I go for the processional line-up?
    Report to the Brown Center Theatre at 9:10 a.m. College staff will be on hand to assist you with finding your assigned seat. ONLY graduates will be allowed to enter the theatre. All graduates must be in their seats 20 minutes prior to the ceremony start time for final announcements and instructions. The academic procession will begin promptly 5 minutes prior to the ceremony start time, leading all graduates to the W.S. Scott Auditorium for the Commencement Ceremony.
  • Where can I leave my belongings during the Commencement ceremony?
    Please be aware that Cowley College is unable to provide storage space to hold candidates' personal belongings on the day of Commencement. Please only bring your cap, gown and tassel.
  • Will I be recognized individually at Commencement?
    All graduation candidates will process across the stage to be recognized individually. Actual diplomas will be mailed at a later date.
  • Will my name be in the Commencement Program?
    The program will list the names of all students who have completed the degree application and been approved for graduation. Your name will be listed as it exists in your student record. If you have changes to your name, please contact the Registrar’s Office to be sure the correct information was included on your Degree Application. The Commencement Program is sent to the printer several weeks prior to the ceremony, and changes to the program will not be accepted after that time.
  • Will my picture be taken at Commencement?
    Cowley College has contracted with an independent photography company that will take pictures of graduates as they receive their diploma covers. Following graduation, graduates will receive information directly from the photography company about the option to purchase photos.

Cap, Gown and Tassel

  • How do I order my cap, gown and tassel?
    When you submit your degree application, you will be asked to indicate whether or not you plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. If you answer YES to this question, a cap, gown and tassel will be automatically ordered for you.
  • When and where can I pick up my cap, gown and tassel?
    Commencement apparel will be available for pickup approximately two weeks preceding the Commencement Ceremony. Commencement apparel will be available for pickup at the Cowley location you requested on your degree application; either the Arkansas City Bookstore, Mulvane Campus, Sumner Campus, or the Wichita Downtown Center. Delivery to outreach Cowley College locations is $4.95 but you must contact the Cowley Bookstore in advance to make delivery and payment arrangements.
  • Can my cap, gown and tassel be shipped to me?
    Yes. For an additional $14.95, commencement apparel can be shipped to the graduate via UPS Ground. Contact the Cowley Bookstore at (620) 441-5277 to arrange for shipment of your commencement apparel.
  • What is the cost for my cap, gown and tassel?
    Graduates participating in the Commencement Ceremony will be charged $35 for the cap, gown and tassel. The $35 apparel fee must be paid in full at the Cowley Bookstore prior to receiving your commencement apparel. The Cowley Bookstore accepts cash, check and all major credit cards.
  • Which side do I wear my tassel on?
    Before graduating, your tassel should be placed on your right. After all graduates are individually recognized, you will be instructed to move your tassel to the left.
  • Am I required to return my cap, gown and tassel after the Commencement Ceremony?
    No. Graduates are not required to return their cap, gown and tassel following the Commencement Ceremony.

Special Accommodations

  • Graduates attending the Commencement Ceremony who need special accommodations should contact the Student Accessibility manager. Individuals needing special parking and seating accommodations, should plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to commencement as this space is limited.


  • How do I determine if I am eligible to graduate with honors?
    Honor Graduates are those Associate Degree candidates who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or better and have completed at least 30 credit hours of Cowley College course work. All honor graduates will receive their honor cords with their cap, gown and tassel. Honors at the time of Commencement are based on the fall term. Honors earned after the spring term will be awarded after commencement. If you have questions concerning your eligibility to graduate with honors, please contact the Registrar’s Office.
  • How do I obtain an honor stole for the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, of which I am a member?
    Graduating members of Phi Theta Kappa who have maintained a 3.25 grade point average are given the honor of wearing the Phi Theta Kappa honor stole at graduation. You may purchase your own personal stole to keep at or rent the stole from the local Phi Theta Kappa chapter for a $25 deposit check. After graduation, if the stole is returned in the same condition in which it was rented out, the $25 check is returned to the student. Contact PTK Sponsor Deborah Layton to reserve your stole.

Graduation Announcements

  • Are graduation announcements available to purchase?
    The Cowley Bookstore has contracted with CB Announcements to provide graduates with quality personalized graduation announcements. Graduates may order by phone at (800) 433-0296 or online at For your convenience, announcement samples are on display at the Ark City Bookstore, Wichita Downtown Center, Mulvane Center and can also be viewed online.


  • When will I receive my diploma?
    Graduates will NOT receive a diploma at the Commencement Ceremony. All diplomas will be mailed approximately 6-8 weeks after degree completion. ALL ACCOUNTS MUST BE SETTLED IN FULL BEFORE DIPLOMAS CAN BE RELEASED AND TRANSCRIPTS SENT.


  • Who can I contact if I have questions about Commencement?
    If you have additional questions about Commencement that have not been addressed on this page, feel free to email


It is the student's responsibility to see that graduation requirements are met.

You must complete a Degree Application form for Graduation. Log into your Cowley Connect account to find the Degree Application form. You will find the application under the Graduation tab. Students must complete a degree application online on Cowley Connect to graduate by the following dates:

  • October 1 for fall degree completion
  • March 1 for spring degree completion
  • July 1 for summer degree completion

Students must be a high school or GED graduate to qualify for an associate degree. Cowley College awards the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of General Studies, Associate of Applied Science degrees and the College Certificate. Those receiving the associate degree are expected to demonstrate the ability to communicate both orally and in writing, possess knowledge of mathematics and the physical world, and be aware of past and present cultures.

Associate Degrees

Cowley College offers a wide variety of courses specifically designed for transfer. This enables students to complete their first two years of coursework leading toward a bachelor’s degree in virtually any field of study at a four-year college or university. The keys to a successful transfer are to start planning immediately and to select your coursework carefully. Cowley College academic advisors are available to help students develop an educational plan.

In order to qualify for either the degree or certificate at Cowley College, a student must complete a minimum of fifteen (15) credit hours at Cowley College, which counts toward the degree or certificate. Developmental courses cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements.

The Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS) degree, and the Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree as outlined on the program of study are designed to meet the Kansas Systemwide General Education 34-35 hour Core requirements outlined by the Kansas Board of Regents. Students should work closely with their academic advisor and transfer institution to select appropriate courses for their transfer pathway.

Students who plan to complete an associate's degree and transfer as a junior in their major should achieve the following goals:

  • Complete the Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree.
  • The general education requirements and graduation requirements for these degrees are described in this section.
  • Fulfill the lower-division (freshman/sophomore-level courses) general education requirements of the institution you plan to attend.
  • Every four-year college or university has different general education requirements. Transfer guides summarizing these requirements for the colleges and universities popular with Cowley College students are available on the Cowley College Web site. For other schools, students should consult the catalog and/or contact the intended transfer institution for additional information. In most cases, if you select your general education coursework carefully, you can simultaneously satisfy the general education requirements for both Cowley College and the transfer institution.
  • Fulfill the lower-division requirements in your major field of study.
  • You should familiarize yourself with the criteria for admission into the specific program major at the college where you plan to transfer. In many cases, specific lower-division coursework is required. Ask for transfer guides for specific majors and/or consult the catalog of your transfer school.
  • When you are ready to transfer, make a request for your transcript to be sent to your transfer institution by following the details in the "Requesting Your Transcripts" tab above.
  • Complete the form, requesting that a transcript of your Cowley College coursework be sent to your transfer school. Be certain to verify that your transfer institution has received the transcript. If you experience difficulty in transferring any of your courses, contact the Registrar.

Generally, when a college official intercedes on behalf of the student, he or she is able to facilitate the resolution of transfer problems. Students need to work with their advisor to ensure proper transfer of credit to private and public four-year colleges and universities located out of state.

Associate in Arts Degree (AA)

This degree is designed to specifically meet the student's educational objectives and needs through the completion of the general education distribution requirement. The courses are equivalent to lower-division courses offered at Kansas Regent's universities.

Associate in Science Degree (AS)

This degree is designed to prepare students for transfer with advanced standing to 4-year colleges or universities. These programs are for students who plan to major in a science related discipline.

Associate of General Studies (AGS)

This degree is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and greater philosophical appreciation for lifelong learning.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

This degree is designed to prepare students for entry into an occupation or closely related cluster of occupations. The objective of the AAS degree is to enhance employment opportunities.

General Education Core Curriculum

The general education core curriculum constitutes that part of an undergraduate education that develops breadth of knowledge and the expressive skills essential to more complex and in-depth learning throughout life. To develop breadth of knowledge, general education courses acquaint students with the methods of inquiry of the various academic disciplines and the different ways these disciplines view the world. The academic disciplines comprising the general education curriculum are the physical and life sciences, the humanities and fine arts, the social and behavioral sciences, and interdisciplinary combinations of these.

To develop expressive skills, the general education curriculum requires courses that enhance written and oral communication and quantitative reasoning skills. The foundation skills of communication (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), critical thinking and analysis/synthesis, quantification, and the use of resources (including technology and the library) are to be embedded in every general education course.

Transfer & Articulation Agreements

A transfer and articulation agreement exists between Kansas community colleges and the regents universities in the state. A student should complete the following requirements in order to ensure transfer to a regent university in the state of Kansas.

A minimum of forty-five (45) credit hours of general education with distribution in the following fields will be required. General education hours totaling less than forty-five (45) credit hours will be accepted, but transfer students must complete the remainder of the requirements before graduation from the receiving institution.

Basic Skills: Twelve (12) credit hours:

  • English Composition I and II — 6 hours
  • Public Speaking — 3 hours College
  • Algebra or higher level — 3 hours

Humanities: Twelve (12) credit hours from at least three of the following departments:

  • Art*
  • History
  • Literature
  • Modern Languages
  • Music*
  • Philosophy
  • Theatre*

*Studio and performance courses are excluded.

Social and Behavioral Science: Twelve (12) credit hours from at least three of the following departments:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Psychology Sociology

Natural and Physical Science: Nine (9) credit hours from at least two departments:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Physical Science