Applying for Graduation
A student planning to graduate should follow these steps:
- Submit the Intent to Graduate Application.
||For the degree to be posted at the end of
- Meet with his/her academic advisor.
- Complete Application for Graduation form with a faculty advisor and attach a copy of degree or certificate plan.
- Check for 2.0 or higher education GPA.
- Schedule missing course requirements to be completed during the perceived final semester.
- Schedule and complete any required graduate exit tests.
- Complete the graduate survey in the Career Services Center.
- File the completed Application for Graduation form in the Admissions and Records Office.
Additional Degrees and Certificates
A student may earn an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science, an Associate of Applied Science degree, or a technical certificate. Students seeking to earn more than one degree must complete all of the requirements for the second degree, and earn a minimum of 16 additional credits beyond the requirements of the first degree. Students seeking to earn more than one technical certificate must meet all requirements for each certificate.
A student seeking to earn more than one concentration in a major must meet all requirements for the second and each subsequent concentration. A minimum of 12 additional credits beyond the requirements of the first concentration must be completed. Students who receive a second concentration within a single major will not be issued an additional diploma; however, the concentration areas will be posted on the transcript.
Graduation Catalog Limitations
Students may graduate under any catalog in effect during their enrollment at the College as long as it is not more than five (5) years old. Variations in catalog program requirements result from program upgrades and enhancements as well as accreditation standards. In most cases, for employment and continuing education purposes, it is to the student’s benefit to graduate according to the latest program requirements.
Degree Requirements for Graduation
In order to graduate, both degree and certificate seeking students must:
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
- Be free of debt to the College
- Be approved by the faculty in the area offering the selected degree/certificate
- File an Application for Graduation form with the Admissions and Records Office
- Be admitted to degree status at the College by fulfilling all admission requirements.
- Earn a minimum of 60 college-level credits.
- Satisfy all requirements of an A.S. or A.A. or A.A.S. degree as listed in the catalog.
- Take the required graduation examination and authorize the release of scores to the College.
- Satisfy academic program requirements for GPA in the major.
- Be admitted to either degree or non-degree status at the College by fulfilling all requirements.
- Satisfy all requirements specified in the College catalog for the particular Technical Certificate.
Degrees, Certificates and the Diploma
The actual degree or certificate earned will be posted to the student’s transcript following the term in which the student completes all procedures and requirements for graduation as stated above. Diplomas will be available for pickup eight weeks after the end of the semester in which the degree was completed. Notification of dates and times for diploma pickup will be posted on the Southwest website at www.southwest.tn.edu and emailed to graduates via their Southwest email accounts. The diplomas of honor students will be available later if the academic honor status is changed (example: student moves from magna cum laude to summa cum laude status or vice versa). Students have one year from the date of commencement exercises to notify the Admissions and Records Office of any error on the diploma. After the one-year period, the diploma may be reordered for a fee.
Withholding of Degree or Certificate
For graduation, students’ financial and academic records must be cleared of all encumbrances. This includes payment of outstanding debts to the College, earning the appropriate number of credit hours, completing specific courses required for the degree/certificate and maintaining at least a 2.0 college level GPA. If for any justifiable reason, students who have filed Applications for Graduation are found to be missing any of these requirements, the diploma will not be issued nor will the degree be posted to the student’s transcript.
The College holds one commencement exercise each academic year after the spring semester.
Graduation with Academic Honors
Graduation with academic honors is reserved for students who have completed associate degree requirements. Students who have attained a 3.25 GPA wear gold tassels during the graduation ceremony. Students who have been inducted into an honor society may choose to wear special stoles engraved with the society’s Greek symbols. Graduation honors for the ceremony are determined by using college level grade point average (GPA) for coursework through the fall semester.
Eligibility for Participation in the Graduation Ceremony
To be eligible for participation in the graduation ceremony, each student must meet the following requirements:
- Have filed an Application for Graduation with the Admissions and Records Office (See section “Applying for Graduation” for application deadlines).
- Have completed all courses needed for the academic program or be currently enrolled in the final courses needed to complete the academic program (exception: RADT candidates).
- Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative higher education GPA.
- Have completed the Graduate Exit Exam.
- Have completed the College’s graduate survey.
- Have submitted written authorization from department chair permitting participation in the ceremony if a final Allied Health or Nursing course is failed.
Participation in the ceremony does not guarantee the awarding of the degree or diploma. If the student should fail one of the last courses needed to meet the requirements, the degree will not be posted nor will a diploma be issued.
The connection to the College does not end at graduation or when your classes end. By becoming a member of the Southwest Alumni Association, students can be a driving force in ensuring that their alma mater continues to help shape lives.
Southwest Alumni Association reaches, connects, and celebrates alumni of the College, builds lifelong relationships, and supports Southwest’s mission. Composed of fellow graduates and students, the Association provides its members with a valuable career network. It also offers fun social events where alumni can meet others who enjoy the same things they do. Finally, the Association provides a direct and positive way to give back to their alma mater through student recruitment and fund-raising for scholarships.
All graduates and former or current students are eligible for membership in the Southwest Alumni Association and will receive the Southwest Alumni News, a bi-annual print newsletter, and The Cornerstone Online, an electronic newsletter, that keeps them current on what is happening at the College and with fellow students, as well as invitations to Association-only events. Join today and continue to support Southwest.