Crest for Policies

Policy A7 
Policy Name: Graduation and Commencement 
Responsibility for Maintenance: Office of Registration and Records, Advancement Communications

Date of most recent changes: June 19, 2015  

I. Policy Statement

Onondaga Community College degrees shall be awarded, and annual commencement ceremonies shall be planned and conducted, in accordance with this policy.  

II. Reason for Policy

The policy is designed to ensure that degrees will be awarded in accordance with applicable law, and that commencement ceremonies will be conducted in accordance with applicable law and in a manner designed to reflect favorably upon the College.  

III. Applicability of the Policy

All members of the College community involved in planning and conducting graduation and commencement ceremonies should be familiar with this policy.  

IV. Related Documents

V. Contacts

Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Student Central   (315) 498-2000 studentcentral@sunyocc.edu 
Advancement Communications Assistant Director, Alumni Communications & Institutional Events (315) 498-2831 corbinr@sunyocc.edu  

VI. Procedures

Applications for Graduation  

Degree candidates are recommended for graduation by the Curriculum Proctor, the Scholastic Standards Committee and the Faculty upon satisfactory completion of all the necessary requirements for their respective degrees or certificates. The President is authorized to approve for graduation those students so recommended. The Board of Trustees shall certify the list of approved graduates, as well as any additions, deletions or modifications to the list. The President or his/her designee is authorized to award diplomas and certificates and to confer degrees, in the name and on behalf of the College, to the candidates certified by the Board of Trustees.  

Awarding of Honors   

Graduates of Onondaga Community College wear an associate gown and mortarboard, with special accessories to signify the following achievements:

Honors: The gold honors cord signifies academic achievement of a 3.4 or higher grade point average. 

Phi Theta Kappa: A gold tassel and gold stole signify members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

National Society of Leadership and Success: Membership to this society is signified by a platinum stole and cord.

Veterans: A red, white and blue cord is for our Veteran graduates to signify their service, contribution and sacrifice.

  • Cum Laude: 3.40 – 3.59
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.60 – 3.79
  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.80 – 4.00  

Planning of Commencement Ceremonies  

Commencement exercises, including without limitation the location and date of ceremonies and the identities of guest speakers, shall be planned by the Office of Advancement Communications and approved by the President.

Honorary Degrees  

The College may award honorary degrees that it is authorized to grant pursuant to applicable law, during commencement ceremonies. Honorary degrees shall be awarded (a) to recognize excellence and extraordinary achievement in the fields of public affairs, the sciences, humanities and the arts, scholarship and education, business and philanthropy or social services which exemplify the mission and purpose of the University; (b) to honor meritorious and outstanding service to the College, the State of New York, the United States, or to humanity at large; and/or (c) to recognize individuals whose lives and significant achievements should serve as examples of the College's aspirations for its students. The specific honorary degree awarded, which should normally bear a relationship to an academic discipline in the curriculum of the College, shall be appropriate to the nature of the attainment which is being recognized.


Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006

Updated and approved by the President January 6, 2010

Updated and approved by the President June 19, 2015