Graduation Information

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 Friday, December 14, 2018, in the Lake Charles Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. Information regarding the Fall 2018 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
Semester Deadline
Spring May 1, 2018
Summer July 15, 2018
Fall November 30, 2018

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, gowns, and memorabilia will be available for order at GradFest. Students who do not attend GradFest can obtain caps, gowns, and memorabilia through the SOWELA Bookstore located in the Sycamore Student Center.

STEP 3: Review Graduation Fact Sheet
Make sure that you review the SOWELA Commencement Fast Fact Sheet (PDF/opens new window).

Dates to Remember


  • Graduation Application Deadlines
    • May 1, 2018 (Spring graduates)
    • July 15, 2018 (Summer graduates)
    • November 30, 2018 (Fall graduates)
  • GradFest is Thursday, October 25, 2018
    • Sycamore Student Center
    • Noon to 2:00 p.m.
    • Time set aside to distribute caps and gowns, verify degree information, and collect any outstanding fees.
  • Friday, December 14, 2018 — 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.
  • Friday, December 14, 2018 — 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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