Commencement Ceremony FAQs

Please join us as we celebrate our graduates at Commencement 2022 at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena on April 29, 2022. Official hashtag: #FSWGRADS2022

To help address specific questions related to Commencement, we have developed a list of FAQs.

Please check this page often as updates will occur as we get closer to the big day.

Before Commencement:

  • Do I have to sign up to participate in Commencement?
    • Yes, if you want to participate in Commencement, you must complete the Commencement application on our website. Participation in Commencement is optional.  Click here for the application.

  • Is there a fee to participate in Commencement?

    • No, there is not a fee to participate in Commencement or to view the event via livestream. 

  • Who is eligible to participate in Commencement?

    • Fall 2021 Graduates

    • Spring 2022 Potential Graduates

    • Summer 2022 Potential Graduates

    • If you have questions about your eligibility, please make an appointment to see your Student Success Advisor.

  • If I participate in Commencement, does it mean I graduated?

    • No, Commencement and graduation are different. Commencement is the ceremony; graduation means a student met all requirements for a degree or certificate.

  • What is a Reader Card and where do I get it?

    • A Reader Card must be carried by each participant as they cross the stage. This is how we ensure your name is announced and displayed as you walk across the stage. Commencement participants must pick up their Reader Card prior to Commencement. Pick up times and location(s) will be announced soon. Please check back soon. 

  • What about photos?

    • Pre-Commencement Photos: There will be a Photo Day on Thursday, April 28 from 8:30am – 5:00pm in the Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Sign-up is required. Sign up here.

    • Commencement Day Photos:  Professional photos will be taken as participants cross the stage on April 29th. 

 Commencement Ceremony:

  • How many Commencement Ceremonies are there?
    • There are 3 Ceremonies: 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 6:00pm. Ceremonies typically last 2 hours.

  • How do I know which Ceremony to attend?

    • Each participant will be notified via their FSW email of their assigned Ceremony time. Requests to alter Ceremony times cannot be honored. 

  • Is there a livestream of the Ceremony

    • Yes!  Guests who wish to enjoy remotely can view a livestream of the Ceremonies online.  No tickets are required for access to this livestream service. View the livestream here.

  • How do I obtain a Commencement Program? 

    • Information Coming Soon.

  • Will my name be in the Commencement Program?

    • The names of participants who apply by the priority deadline will be included in the Commencement Program.  The names of participants who apply after the priority deadline will NOT be included in the Commencement Program.

    • Students who have placed a confidentiality hold on their records should be aware their name will be withheld from any record releases, including publication in the commencement program.  Please contact the Office of the Registrar if you would like to update your record. 

  • How many tickets will I get and where do I get them?

    • Each participant who applies by the priority deadline will receive 5 guest tickets. Guests under the age of 2 sitting in the lap of an adult are not required to have a ticket. Tickets will be sent to your FSW email account after the April 4, 2022 priority application deadline. *The number of tickets may change if needed based on the number of applicants. 
    • Participants who apply after the priority deadline may not receive guest tickets or may receive a reduced number of guest tickets. If guest tickets are available, the participant will need to pick up their tickets at the Arena box office. Late applicants will be notified of guest ticket availability around April 25, 2022.
    • If you have any questions regarding the ticketing process please contact the box office at: (preferred method) or 239-481-4849.
  • How do I get my regalia?

    • Ordering of regalia is done through the FSW Bookstore Here

      • Tuesday, February 8 – 11:00am - 3:00pm – Grad Fair in Bookstore (Lee Campus Only)

      • Monday, March 14 – Online Regalia Ordering Deadline 

      • Monday, April 18 – Order Pick-Up in the Bookstore Begins 
    • A photo ID is required to pick up your regalia. 
    • Please note: Only FSW-approved regalia will be permitted at Commencement.
    • Can I decorate my cap?

      • Yes!  FSW encourages the expression of individuality by decorating the tops of graduation caps for the Ceremonies.  Please use good judgement when decorating.  FSW will restrict anything determined as vulgar, obscene or worn in a manner that disrupts school activity. 

Day of the Ceremony:

  • When do I need to arrive at the Arena?
    • Guests and participants should plan to arrive at the Arena no later than 1 hour prior to the Ceremony. 

  • Where do we park?

    • Participants/graduates should park in Lot 11 beside Building U with overflow parking in Lots 8 and 10.  A shuttle will take participants from Building U to the Arena; pick up locations will be designated with a sign.  

    • Guests should park in Lots 12, 18 and 19. 

  • Will there be ADA seating/parking?
    • Yes.  Limited ADA seating and parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For the College to effectively accommodate guests with disabilities, ADA attendees are permitted to have only one family member accompany them in the designated area.  Tickets for both individuals are required for admittance.  If other accommodations are needed, please contact the Office of Adaptive Services at 239-432-7354 or TTY1-800-955-8771. 

  • What can my guests bring?

  • What do I need to bring?

    • Participants should plan to bring FSW-approved regalia and their Reader Card.  It is recommended that participants do NOT bring a purse or bag.  FSW is not responsible for lost or stolen property.

    • As a reminder, tassels are a part of the required regalia and should be worn on the right side of the cap.  Don’t forget to bring this important piece of your regalia!

  • How do I know if I’ll be recognized for honors?

    • Candidates receive honors based on their cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall semester, since all Spring grades will not have been processed prior to the Ceremonies.  If you are unsure of your status, please verify with the Office of the Registrar prior to the Ceremonies.  Honors designations are not read during the Ceremonies, but will be denoted in the Commencement Program. 

After the Ceremony:

  • When will I receive my diploma?

    • Diplomas are mailed to your home address on file in your Student Portal approximately 6-8 weeks after the end of each semester. 

    • Click Here for Grad Tracker

  • How do I order a transcript? 

    • Please visit the Office of the Registrar’s transcript ordering page here.

  • Do I need to return my cap and gown? 

    • No, the cap and gown are yours to keep!

  • Where can I find information for Alumni?