Graduation Information

Smiling student clapping her hands at a graduation ceremony

Twice a year (May and December), 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 ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in the Lake Charles Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. Information regarding the Fall 2017 Commencement will be forthcoming.

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:

Graduation Application Deadlines

April 14, 2017
July 21, 2017
November 17, 2017

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/Student Records/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: Order Cap & Gown and other Graduation Memorabilia

Caps and gowns will be ordered through Graduate Sales. Information will be received directly from Graduate Sales representatives. SOWELA no longer orders caps and gowns on behalf of graduates. Contact Graduate Sales by phone at (337) 564-6864 or via email at Email messages must include the graduate's name, height, and weight.


STEP 3: Review Graduation Fact Sheet
Make sure that you review the SOWELA Commencement Fast Fact Sheet.

Dates to Remember

  • Graduation Application Deadlines
    • April 14, 2017 (Spring graduates)
    • July 21, 2017 (Summer graduates)
    • November 17, 2017 (Fall graduates)
  • GradFest is Thursday, May 4, 2017
    • Arts & Humanities Building
    • Noon to 2:00 p.m.
    • Time set aside to distribute caps and gowns, verify degree information, and collect any outstanding fees.
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2017 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 16, 2017 Commencement Ceremony
    All graduates are expected to arrive at the Coliseum for the Commencement Ceremony by 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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

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