How Grad Works for Academic, Vocational, Technology and Foundational Programs

THE GRADUATION PROCESS

Students in the programs listed below are graduated twice a year: in January and in June. However, for special circumstances, students may request an out of sequence graduation. All graduates are approved by Education Council which meets monthly between September and June each year. If you have questions about graduating out of sequence (e.g. not in January or June), or would like to have your request considered, please contact graduation@okanagan.bc.ca.

For students finishing between May 25* (for Spring programs)/ June 25** (for Summer programs) and December 31, you will graduate in January provided you meet graduation requirements and are approved by Education Council.

For students finishing between January 1 and May 24* (for Spring programs)/ June 24** (for Summer programs), you will graduate in June provided you meet graduation requirements and are approved by Education Council.

*Rough estimated date. Date will vary depending on end dates the late Spring programs.
**Rough estimated date. Date will vary depending on the end dates for the late Summer programs.

Arts Diplomas and Certificates
Science Diplomas and Certificates

Technology Diplomas
Business Administration Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates
Office Administration Certificates
Health and Social Development Certificates and Diplomas
Adult Basic Education (including BC Adult Graduation Diploma)
Adult Special Education

English as a Second Language (English for Academic Purposes Certificate)
Food, Wine and Tourism Diploma and Certificates:

  • Culinary Arts Certificate
  • Culinary Management Diploma
  • Pastry Arts Certificate
  • Viticulture Certificate
  • Viticulture Technician Diploma
  • ** Wine Sales Certificate and Winery Assistant Certificate are housed under the Continuing Studies program.
If you are reading this early on in your program, it is advised that you continue to monitor your progress through your program by checking the calendar and ensuring you are meeting graduation requirements. Meet with an advisor to discuss any questions you have.

Once you register in your final semester coursework, it's a good idea that you complete a final review of your record against graduation requirements listed in the calendar. If you notice any problems, bring them up with the Graduating Student Assistant (GSA): graduation@okanagan.bc.ca. The GSA will work with you and, if necessary, the Chair of your program and your Dean on any issues that arise.

For Business students, the Okanagan School of Business has developed a Personal Degree Plan for the BBA that you can use to check your graduation status. There is an advising sheet available for the Business Diploma as well, located here.

All students in the programs listed above must apply to graduate regardless of whether or not they plan to attend the ceremony. You can apply to graduate as soon as you are registered in your final coursework. We encourage students to apply as early as possible. Applying early gives you the advantage of having your file reviewed earlier in the graduation process and a greater chance of being notified early if there are problems with your graduation.

Pre-Audit
Once the application is received, a review of your student record is initiated, called an audit. If you are in-progress in your final coursework, a pre-audit is completed to determine if you are anticipated to meet graduation requirements based on the successful completion of your current in-progress coursework. At the pre-audit stage, any issues with your graduation record are resolved, if possible. A common issue is that students may forget to apply for transfer credit, so please ensure you have a complete student record at the time of your graduation application. If it is anticipated that you will not meet your graduation requirements, you will be notified by email. The earlier your application is submitted, the earlier it can be reviewed.

Final Audit
Once final grades are in, a final review of your student record is completed. As you can imagine, many records are reviewed at once when grades are submitted, so this process takes some time. In January, all files must be reviewed by the middle of the week before graduation. For June graduation, the review of student files takes place over the month of May. Confirmation of having met graduation requirements is not sent. Students should review their record according to the academic calendar to ensure they have met graduation requirements. Students who do not meet graduation requirements will be notified by email. If you are unsure and would like to confirm that you have met graduation requirements, you can email graduation@okanagan.bc.ca. Please wait until the following dates to ensure your file has been reviewed fully before inquiring: 
For Spring graduating programs:
May 31
For Summer Graduating Programs
Three days after your program has ended
For January Graduating Programs        2nd Week of January 

Upon completion of credential requirements, you may need a letter of program completion to submit for the purposes of immigration documentation or to provide to an employer, as you will not receive your formal credential until you officially graduate in June or January. The request form for the Letter of Completion can be found here. At peak period after grades have just come in, please allow up to 7 - 10 business days for processing. Please only request this letter if you need it for an employer or for immigration documentation.

Students who meet final graduation requirements will have their name added to a list which is sent to Education Council for approval review.

The Education Council (also known as EdCo) is an internal governance body of Okanagan College as required by the College and Institute Act. According to the Act, the Education Council is responsible for providing for the granting of all the credentials awarded by Okanagan College with the exception of those in Continuing Studies. To that end, Education Council reviews a list of graduands submitted to the Council for consideration. The GSA prepares the list based on a careful and total review of the student's record against the calendar requirements for the student's program. Students must meet program requirements to be recommended to the Education Council for graduation approval. Each student who is not graduating from a Continuing Studies program has to be approved by Education Council before they can be considered to have graduated. This is the final step in the graduation process and takes place shortly before the convocation ceremonies in January and June.

Special Graduation Programs

Please note: Students in the following programs are graduated as their programs finish and will receive their credentials following the next Education Council that meets upon the conclusion of their program: 
  • BC Adult Graduation
  • Culinary Arts Certificate
  • Pastry Arts Certificate
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • Health Care Assistant

If you are in one of these programs and you plan to attend the ceremony, you will receive your credential by mail and again at the ceremony.

It is possible that students may apply to graduate and may not meet graduation requirements. Here are some things to be aware of:
  • The graduation ceremony attendance fee is non-refundable because it is used to order the gown early on in the graduation process, and it does not carry forward into the next graduation. You will not receive a refund of your graduation fee if you do not meet requirements. Therefore, it is important that you review your record before applying to ensure you are on track to graduate.
  • If you are not graduating because your Graduating Grade Point Average is too lowAcademic advisors are available to discuss next steps, and you can also talk to your Chair about which courses it makes sense to repeat or take in order to bring up your average.
  • If you are not graduating because you are missing coursework, it is a good idea to meet with an advisor to plan your program to ensure you will meet graduation requirements.
  • You can reapply for graduation as soon as you are registered in your final coursework. If you have questions about your file, you can contact graduation@okanagan.bc.ca at any time once you are registered in your final coursework to see if your audit is on track. Keep in mind that your graduating grade point average cannot be determined until final grades are in.