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Graduation Information

Once a year, in May, SOWELA holds a commencement ceremony to recognize the students who have completed either an Associate's Degree or Technical Diploma during the previous summer, fall, and spring semesters. The Commencement Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in the Coliseum of the Lake Charles Civic Center at 6:30 p.m.

All degree candidates will pay a $60 graduation fee (price subject to change) which covers the cost of the student's cap and gown, diploma, and diploma cover. This fee must be paid upon submission of the student's graduation application. In addition, any money owed to the college must be paid before students can receive their diplomas and transcripts verifying graduation. Also, students who have holds on their accounts must have these cleared in order to receive diplomas and transcripts.

Students should apply for graduation no later than the following deadlines:

  • July 11, 2014 (summer graduates)
  • October 20, 2014 (fall graduates)
  • March 16, 2015 (spring graduates)

To submit a graduation application, please follow the steps below.

STEP 1: Complete Degree Review with Department Chair and Apply to Graduate
Schedule an appointment with your Advisor/Department Chair prior to the close of Add/Drop of your last semester at SOWELA to verify that you meet the degree requirements. Eligible candidates should then go to their LoLA account under Student/StudentRecords/Apply to Graduate and complete the application for graduation.

If you applied in a previous term but did not graduate, you must apply again for this term.

STEP 2: Pay Graduation Fee
Pay the $60 graduation fee online or at the Business Office.

STEP 3: Order Cap & Gown and other Graduation Memorabilia
Order cap and gown and other graduation memorabilia (class rings, grauation announcements, etc.) directly through Jostens. SOWELA no longer orders caps and gowns on behalf of graduates.

STEP 4: Review Graduation Fact Sheet
Make sure that you review the SOWELA Commencement Fast Fact Sheet

Dates to remember:

  • Graduation Application Deadlines
    • July 11, 2014 (Summer graduates)
    • October 20, 2014 (Fall graduates)
    • March 16, 2015 (Spring graduates)
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - MANDATORY Graduation Rehearsal
    Graduation rehearsal is mandatory for all graduates participating in the commencement ceremony. This rehearsal will be held in the Coliseum of the Lake Charles Civic Center at 10:00 a.m.                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - Commencement Ceremony
    All graduates are expected to arrive at the commencement ceremony by 5:30 p.m. The commencement ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Information about GradFest will be made available Spring 2015.

If you have any questions regarding either your candidacy for graduation or the commencement ceremony, please contact the Graduation Committee at

Click the link below to access the
Commencement Fast Fact Sheet


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