From degree audits to diplomas

Commencements can be planned and implemented in a variety of ways. Your institutional makeup, culture, and policies will underpin the decisions you make about graduation on your campus.

To help make this process more efficient and meaningful, AACRAO has released the Guide to Graduation Ceremonies. Each chapter of the guide explores a different aspect of preparing and executing a successful graduation ceremony.

For example, consider the process of selecting a diploma vendor. It’s important to plan ahead so there is adequate time to explore vendors, writes Cynthia Suter, Registrar at Heidelberg University.

Suter suggests the following seven essential questions when considering diploma vendors:

  1. What is driving the need for a new vendor?
  2. What is the current budget?
  3. Can the current look, paper, and presentation of the diploma be changed?
  4. Will the diplomas be printed in-house or by the vendor?
  5. Will current stock be purged or used until it is gone?
  6. Can graduation fees be adjusted?
  7. Does the diploma vendor need to be the same as the regalia vendor or a vendor of other commencement supplies?

You can likely identify vendors online, which will likely lead to individual sales calls or online demonstrations. Trade shows, such as state and national AACRAO conferences, provide the opportunity to visit vendor booths or attend vendor sessions and view samples and information sheets with more detail than is available on websites.

In addition to tips for diploma vendor selection, the graduation guide offers a sample timeline, application for graduation, letters to graduates, and more.

Each of these topics is covered in depth:

  • Graduation Application Essentials
  • Rethinking the Degree Audit
  • Elements of the Commencement Ceremony
  • Printing Diplomas In-House
  • Diploma Distribution, Changes, and Reprints
  • The Commencement Program
  • Regalia
  • Commencement Speakers
  • Academic Honors
  • Social Media
  • Commencement for Online Graduates
  • Honorary and Posthumous Degrees
  • Early Commencement
  • Unique Graduation Date Calculations
  • Grade Changes for Graduating Students
  • Multidiscipliary and Interdiciplinary Degrees
  • Serving Veterans
  • Policies, Procedures and Exceptions

Buy your Guide to Graduation Ceremonies today.

Attend the AACRAO Technology and Transfer Conference, July 9-11, in New Orleans to meet colleagues and network with AACRAO corporate partners and vendors who can support your work.