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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
Registrar's Office

Graduation Frequently Asked Questions

What process do I need to complete to receive my certificate, diploma or degree?

The application for graduation form is available through the college website graduation page. Forms were due on March 4, 2022. Students must complete the application for graduation form whether they participate in the ceremony or not. Forms submitted after the March 4, 2022 deadline will still be processed, however, the names of graduates submitting forms after the deadline may not be listed in the commencement program. Those who submit forms late will still be able to walk in the Commencement ceremony if they wish.

MSC Southeast has one commencement ceremony per year in May.  Students who will be completing program requirements Spring Semester 2022 and Summer Session 2022 should have applied at this time.

Students completing their requirements Fall Semester 2022 and want to attend the May 2022 ceremony should also have applied by the March 4 deadline to participate this year instead of next.

When and where is the commencement ceremony held?

Commencement will take place on Friday, May 13, 2022 at Winona State University (Memorial Hall, corner of Johnson and King streets, in the McCown Gymnasium). The ceremony begins at 7:00 pm. Students and all employees participating in the commencement procession will meet at Winona State University, Memorial Hall in the Talbot Gym at 6:00 pm to get ready and line up to walk into the ceremony. 

This is our first joint commencement ceremony of both campuses together. We are excited to celebrate our graduating students as one college! We look forward to soliciting your feedback after the ceremony to help us assess the success of the event.

Is there transportation available if I am coming from Red Wing?

Yes, we will have a free bus available for graduates and their families/friends, other students, and college employees. An RSVP will be required, and a link to the RSVP form will be sent to you in the coming weeks if you want to participate. Additional information about the bus will be included in that email. You may leave vehicles on the Red Wing campus until you return later in the evening, but they may not be left on campus overnight.

Will a professional photographer be at the commencement ceremony?

Yes, we have a professional photographer who will be taking photos of students during the commencement ceremony as their name is announced and they cross the stage. Information on purchasing photos will be available at cap and gown pick up for those who would like to purchase photos.

How do I find out about local lodging for my guests?

Information can be found at the following Area Convention and Visitors Bureaus, depending on which area your guests are staying in:

In addition to the commencement ceremony, are there events planned for graduates and their families?

An informal reception will be held for graduates, families, and friends immediately following the ceremony.

Are guest tickets required for the commencement ceremony? Is there a limit to the number of guests I can invite?

Tickets are not needed for the ceremony and there is not currently a limit on guests. However, we continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and, if social distancing is required, we may need to limit guests. If we do so, we will communicate those limits to graduates and college employees as far in advance as possible. You are advised to refer to the Commencement Ceremony web page  prior to the event for guidance on if guests will be limited or not.

How long does the commencement ceremony last? What will happen at the ceremony?

The ceremony is expected to run approximately two hours. It will include a graduate processional (all graduates walking into the ceremony in a line while music plays), several speeches, an honoring of our veterans and military members, and, of course, reading the names of graduates as you cross the stage!

Are children allowed to come to the ceremony?

Yes--we hope you will invite your friends and family to join for this momentous occasion! Because of the length of the ceremony, you are advised to include children who are able to sit for a period of approximately two hours.

Will the ceremony be live streamed?

Yes. Information on how to watch the ceremony live via computer will be available on the Commencement Ceremony web page the week leading up to the event.

Will there be ASL interpretation available at the event?

Yes, we will have ASL interpreters available for those who need it, with reserved seating in front to ensure visibility of the interpreters. If you are in need of reserved seating near the ASL interpreters, please reach out to Melissa Carrington-Irwin at

Is there accessible seating?

Yes, the building is entirely wheelchair accessible and accessible seating is available.

Will I be able to see the stage in such a large venue?

Yes! There are very large screens in the gym that will show what's happening up close on the stage, so even if you sit farther away you will still have a good view.

Are masks required for the commencement ceremony?

Masks may or may not be required for the ceremony, depending on the current status of Covid-19 in our local communities. We will follow the current masking guidelines of Minnesota State College Southeast and Winona State University at the time. If masks are required, signage will indicate that all participants and guests must mask and disposable masks will be provided for those who need them. You are advised to refer to the college commencement website prior to the event for guidance on if masks are required or not.

How do I get a cap, gown, and tassel for the ceremony?

All students participating in the ceremony must wear a college-issued black cap and gown. These are provided to you at no additional cost, thanks to your Student Senates! Pick up times will be:

  • Tuesday, April 26, 11am-1pm
  • Wednesday, April 27, 3-5pm

Pick up will take place on these days on both campuses in the Student Success area (by the front desk). Those who can't make these pickup times should stop by the front desk for assistance.

All employees participating in the processional are expected to wear academic regalia.

Graduating with Honors?

Students who participate in the commencement ceremony and who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a gold honor cord.

Honor status is given to students graduating from a diploma, AAS, AS or AA program and who have completed a minimum of 25 resident credits including credits from the last term before graduation.  Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.74 receive Honors designation.  Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 to 4.00 receive High Honors designation.  Final honor status is determined after final grades are received.  Honor status will appear on the student transcript at the time of official graduation.

Are you now or have you ever served in the United States Armed Forces?

Students who participate in the commencement ceremony will receive a red, white and blue veterans cord to honor their military service.

Are actual certificates, diplomas, or degrees given out at the commencement ceremony?

You will not receive your actual certificate, diploma, or degree at the commencement ceremony. The document will be mailed to you approximately 10 to 12 weeks after commencement once grades are finalized and your graduation is confirmed by the Registrar's Office.

What if I have additional questions about the commencement ceremony?

Please contact Josiah Litant ( or Casie Johnson (, Commencement Committee Co-Chairs, with any questions.

© 2022 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 507-453-2700.

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