Graduation

Convocation and Commencement Ceremonies

A Message for Spring and Summer 2020 and Winter 2021 Graduates:

Dear Graduands:

Okanagan College will be hosting it's first-ever virtual convocation ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 23 and we invite you to celebrate your graduation with us.

While this ceremony will be unlike any held before at the College, we look forward to uniting the OC community, along with friends and family from far and wide to recognize your achievements.

You will be receiving an email about the opportunity to purchase a commemorative Convocation Box; if you do not receive an email by Nov. 11, please contact us for more information.

Please watch your inbox, and this space, for updates. 

 

Programs from June 2020 Convocation

You must apply to graduate to attend a ceremony.

Upcoming Ceremonies

Messages of support and congratulations for the Class of 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

All students, except those in Trades Foundation/Apprenticeship and Continuing Studies programs, must apply to graduate in order to receive their credential. Trades Diploma students must also apply to graduate.

Please fill out an application for graduation form. The form is fillable online, and you will need Adobe Reader to fill it out.

For students in BC Campus programs, please fill out the BC Campus graduation application.

There is a $30 fee to attend a ceremony. This fee covers regalia rental, a souvenir grad cap and an Okanagan College parchment folder.

Graduating students can sign up for grad photos at BasilCooper.com 

Check back for more dates in 2021. 

Sitting fee $50 plus photos ($25 credit with any order over $100)
Fee for composite board photo only $25
Online signup required at Basil Cooper Photography

Grads in Bachelor of Business Administration, Computer Information Systems or Electronic Engineering Technology are encouraged to have their photos taken for the composite board. 

For more information contact Michelle

The Okanagan College Alumni Association sells diploma and portrait frames at most Convocation ceremonies at Okanagan College and year round at the Kelowna campus Bookstore. Frames can be purchased online and are available for pick up at the Kelowna campus Bookstore or can be shipped Canada wide.

The net proceeds from these sales provide funding to support student and alumni programming. 

Family members and guests are invited to attend Convocation and Commencement ceremonies to celebrate the accomplishments of Okanagan College’s graduates. Tickets are not required for any Convocation or Commencement ceremony.

Ceremonies in Kelowna are held outdoors in the campus courtyard. Ceremonies in Vernon are held at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

Parking
All parking lots on campus, except metered parking, are available and free to guests on Convocation day.

Guest Seating
Guest seating is first-come, first-served. Guests should arrive up to an hour before the ceremony for a choice of seating.

Special Considerations
Seating is reserved for guests with special needs (i.e. wheelchair seating) and an accompanying guest.

Reception
All graduates and guests are invited to attend a reception immediately following the ceremony.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather a decision will be made four hours before the ceremony start time to move as follows:
Trades Commencement – atrium of the Centre for Learning
Spring and Summer Convocation – Kelowna Secondary School Gymnasium
Vernon Convocation – location will not change

Notification will be posted on the Convocation website, the Okanagan College homepage and on the reader board on KLO Road.

Please note: if there is less than a 40% chance of rain or very light rain the ceremony will continue as planned. Please bring an umbrella. Ponchos will be provided for guests.

In the event of sudden, unexpected weather the ceremony may be delayed.

Convocation Programs
Convocation programs will be available at each ceremony from the ushers. Extra copies may be available after each ceremony (availability varies by year) from Public Affairs.

Okanagan College offers a commencement ceremony to Trades students in the Spring. For Continuing Studies students, there are ceremonies offered in Vernon and Kelowna in the Summer.

If you are a Continuing Studies student and wish to attend the ceremony, please fill out the application found online for the Kelowna ceremony or Vernon ceremony. To receive your credential by mail, no application is required.

If you are a Trades student and wish to attend the ceremony, please fill out the application which can be found here. To receive your credential by mail, no application is required.

Academic Regalia (Cap and Gown)
Wearing academic regalia is a tradition at Okanagan College. The traditional dress with the regalia is a shirt, tie and dark shoes for men and a dress for women. This is a guideline only. No adornments such as flowers, jewelry or emblems of any kind should be attached to the gown. Caps and gowns must be worn by all ceremony participants. Regalia must not leave the campus and must be returned within one hour of the end of the ceremony. Graduates will be charged $125 for unreturned regalia.

Regalia Rental for Photographs
Students who wish to have their graduation portraits taken before or after Convocation can rent regalia from the Kelowna Campus Bookstore for a nominal fee. Call 250-762-5445 ext. 4586 for more information.

How to Hang the Tassel on your Grad Cap
The tassel stays on the right side until you receive your credential and then it is moved to the left side. Moving the tassel symbolizes the transition from student to graduate.

Arrival and Check In
Graduands should arrive at least one hour before the start of the ceremony. Please check in and get your name card, pick up your gown and proceed to the procession line ups.

Assembly and Procession
Once you have proceeded through check in and gown pick up, you will line up alphabetically within your program. Ensure that you retain the name card to hand to the reader on stage.

The procession starts punctually. You will be led to your seat. Please remain standing until you’ve been asked to be seated.

Stage Procedure
When it’s time for graduands in your program to cross the stage, a marshal will direct you to the appropriate location. It is essential that you bring your name card and hand it to the reader. When your name is announced, walk across the stage to the Okanagan College President who will hand you your credential and shake your hand. A photograph will be taken. You will then proceed to shake hands with the remainder of the platform party. As you leave the stage you will proceed to the alumni table to receive a gift. After which you must return to your seat.

Walking across the stage marks a milestone in your life and is a highlight of your graduation day. Please be considerate of your fellow graduands and return to your seat after your receive your credential.

Personal Belongings
Please keep personal belongings to a minimum. Storage for coats will not be provided. Leave personal items (e.g. purse) with a guest.

Ceremony Duration
Each ceremony is approximately one to 1.5 hours in length.

Reception
All graduates and guests are invited to attend a reception immediately following the ceremony.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather a decision will be made four hours before the ceremony start time to move as follows:
Trades Commencement – Atrium of the Centre for Learning
Spring and Summer Convocation – Kelowna Secondary School Gymnasium
Vernon Convocation – location will not change

Notification will be posted on the Convocation webpage, the Okanagan College homepage and on the reader board on KLO Road.

In the event of sudden, unexpected weather the ceremony may be delayed.

Special Considerations
Please inform Public Affairs at 250-862-5473 if you or a guest require special consideration at the ceremony (e.g. wheelchair seating or wheelchair access onto the stage to accept your diploma).

Photographs
A professional photographer will be located in the Pit in the Student services building (Kelowna) for portraits on the day of Convocation. In Vernon a professional photographer will be at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

A staff photographer will attempt to take a photo of each student as they cross the stage to receive their credential. The photos will be available online a few weeks after the ceremony for download.

Diploma Frames and Class Ring
As a service to graduands, the Okanagan College Alumni Association sells diploma frames and grad rings at most Convocation ceremonies at Okanagan College. The net proceeds from these sales provide funding to support student and alumni programming.

After Graduation

The Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) welcomes all graduates into their ranks. As a graduate of Okanagan College, you are eligible to access alumni benefits and services. Visit the OCAA website to discover the benefits of being Okanagan College alumni!

Faculty and Volunteers

(Applies to in-person ceremonies only)

Faculty
All Okanagan College instructors and faculty members are invited and encouraged to attend Convocation and Commencement to celebrate the accomplishments of graduands. To indicate your participation and/or to order regalia, please contact Michelle Lowry. For faculty regalia orders please provide your height and highest credential awarded (i.e. 5'11" M.Sc., Alberta), and the ceremony you wish to attend.

Regalia Pick Up and Return
Kelowna - Pick up and return your regalia in the Boardroom (S103B) the day of Convocation one hour before the ceremony start time.
Vernon - Pick up and return your regalia in the greenroom at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre one hour before the ceremony start time.

Volunteers
Volunteers are an important and indispensable part of what makes Convocation a successful and memorable event for graduates and families. This is the most exciting time of the year and you are invited to be part of it. To volunteer, please contact Michelle Lowry.

Convocation & Commencement Information

Okanagan College draws on a rich heritage of post-secondary education and training in the region that can be traced to the early 1960s when the B.C. Vocational School was established in Kelowna. Growth, changes and mergers led to the development of Okanagan College and by 1968, the first university and career transfer students were registered in a full complement of academic and vocational programs.

Okanagan College began to offer third- and fourth-year university courses in co-operation with the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria in 1989. By 1992 it had received its new mandate and was named Okanagan University College (OUC).

OUC offered joint degrees with UBC and UVic until 1995 when new legislation enabled university colleges to grant their own baccalaureate degrees. OUC conferred its first degrees on 123 grads at the Spring Convocation in 1998. At OUC’s last convocation ceremonies 900 degrees and diplomas were conferred.

On July 1, 2005, OUC evolved to become two new institutions, Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan. Okanagan College offers a broad array of diploma and certificate programs and two degree programs.

With campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm (as well as several education centres), Okanagan College is the largest college in the interior. It is an institution that serves the education and training needs of the region – stretching south to Osoyoos, west to Princeton, to Mica Creek in the north, and Revelstoke in the east.

Okanagan College has become a vital and integral component of the social and economic fabric of B.C.’s interior. It serves not only this region, but also the world through its programs, services, community activities and enterprises.

Okanagan College is dedicated to providing learning opportunities for people at every stage of life and educational experience. The College offers programs that lead to a full range of credentials, from basic literacy skills to bachelor’s degrees, and that cover a broad spectrum of subject matter, career opportunities and interests. Okanagan College transforms lives and communities.

Education Council is an internal governance body of Okanagan College as required by the College and Institutes Act. Education Council considers curriculum and educational policies relating to students, standards, planning and operations.

Education Council is the body that makes academic decisions at Okanagan College. These decisions include approving graduates, academic achievement awards and honorary fellows.

Achievement awards are presented annually to students who achieve academic excellence. These awards are honorary with no monetary value attached. All students completing a degree, diploma or certificate program who have applied to graduate are automatically considered.

Okanagan College Baccalaureate Medals
Medals in Bachelor of Computer Information Systems and Bachelor of Business Administration recognize outstanding performance in their respective baccalaureate program. These medals are awarded to the graduating degree student with the highest graduating grade average.

Associate of Arts Degree Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed an Associate of Arts Degree program on a full-time basis, with the highest graduating grade average.

Associate of Science Degree Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed an Associate of Science Degree program on a full-time basis, with the highest graduating grade average.

Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed a degree program on a full-time basis with the highest graduating grade average.

Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal
This medal is presented to the graduate who has successfully completed an associate degree or diploma program on a full-time basis with the highest graduating grade average.

Okanagan College President’s Award for Diploma Programs
These awards are presented to two graduates who have successfully completed an associate degree or diploma program on a full-time basis, with the highest graduating grade average (excluding the Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal recipient).

President's Award for Certificate Programs
This award is presented to the two graduates who have successfully completed a vocational certificate program on a full-time basis, with the highest grade average (excluding the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal recipient).

Honorary Fellows

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of Honorary Fellow Medal distinguished achievement or outstanding service by an individual.

The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment. The College welcomes nominations that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society.

Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the province, the nation or on an international level.

Okanagan College will keep all nominations and the information contained therein confidential. We request that a nominee not be informed that s/he has been nominated for an award. This saves embarrassment in the nominee is not selected by the Committee.

Distinguished Service Award

This award is to honour and recognize former Okanagan College employees, who have given outstanding service to Okanagan College, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Okanagan College, and who are active within and outside the Okanagan College community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.

To nominate someone for a Distinguished Service Award click here.

To find out who Okanagan College and Okanagan University College have recognized with these awards click here