All West Campus students who have completed their program requirements this academic year or who will complete them by the end of the summer term are urged to attend the Commencement Ceremony. Commencement Day for West Campus of Miami Dade College is by far the most important day on the campus calendar. The ceremony, with all its traditional elements and special surprises, has been planned with great precision and creativity in an effort to truly honor and celebrate all graduating students.
Each graduating student will be issued a cap and gown at the West Campus Bookstore starting on Monday, April 23, 2018 through Wednesday, May 2, 2018. The bookstore hours are Monday – Thursday 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.; Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Please make sure you pick up your cap and gown early, as there are limited quantities available. Make every attempt to arrive at the Bookstore well before the closing time on any day listed above.
There is no cost for the cap and gown for students who have been approved for Commencement. Caps and gowns will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis until the supply is exhausted. Students may keep their cap and gown, compliments of the West Campus. A printed Commencement Program will be provided at the Commencement Ceremony.
All graduates and degree candidates who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher will receive special recognition as Honor Graduates. Honor Students that have applied for graduation during the Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017 terms will receive the following regalia free of charge:
All Honor Students must stop by the Student Life Department in Suite 1122-01 to pick up their honor regalia before commencement (Monday, April 23, - Wednesday, May 2, 2018 from 8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. [M-TH], 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. [F]).
Each graduating student who has completed the steps required for applying for graduation must visit the West Campus Student Life Department to receive THREE (3) tickets for their family members and/or guests. A ticket will be required to enter the graduation venue for each child or adult who attends the ceremony. The office hours are as follows: Monday – Thursday 8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Every family member and/or guest must use a MDC Admit One Ticket for admission to the commencement ceremony. Any family member or guest who arrives at the Commencement ceremony without a MDC Admit One Ticket will not be admitted (NO EXCEPTIONS). A ticket will be required for each child who attends the ceremony.
When students pick up their cap and gown, they will receive a Name Card listing their name as listed on the graduation application and the degree they are pursuing. Students must bring the Name Card with them to the Commencement Ceremony.
We have made special arrangements with a professional photographer to take individual photographs of each graduating student as they cross the stage. These photographs will be provided at a nominal cost. A proof of the photograph and order blank form will be forwarded to the graduate. Since we are providing this professional service to our graduating students, no other photographs of individual graduating students will be permitted as it is disruptive to the Commencement Ceremony.
5:00 P.M. - Student Arrival: Graduating students arrive on time and follow the signs to the graduate registration area inside the Fieldhouse in the University of Miami Watsco Center. Please be punctual. Simply ask for help if you are uncertain.
6:30 P.M. - Commencement Begins: The ceremony will be conducted in a dignified and engaging manner. Graduating students will hand their Name Card to a faculty reader. Each graduating student will have their name called as they walk across the stage and shake hands with distinguished members of the stage party. Be sure to bring your Name Card with you. Purses, handbags, and photographic equipment cannot be carried into the theater or across the stage. It is suggested that graduates safeguard these items by leaving them with a family member or guest that will be part of the audience. Seating for graduates will be available on a first-come first-served basis.
This is a very special day for many attendees, so we ask that everyone remain seated until the end of the ceremony. Cell phones must be turned off or set to silent mode during the ceremony.
Due to printing deadlines, only those West Campus students who applied for graduation by the deadline date of Monday, March 26, 2018, will be listed in the Graduation Program. Diplomas will be issued once final graduation requirements are met by the student and officially posted by the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will mail the diploma to the address on file for each student who fully completes the degree requirements. (Please ensure mailing address is correct.)
Commencement is a formal ceremony that recognizes the academic achievements of our graduates. Proper attire and behavior are expected. Comfortable, business-casual clothing is recommended for students walking at Commencement:
Please do not wear sneakers, beach sandals, or shorts. Wear shoes and visible items of clothing under your gown in dark colors that harmonize with the Commencement gown.
Heels over 3 inches are not recommended as walking across the stage may prove to be a challenge. Purses, handbags, or photographic equipment cannot be carried in the processional and therefore should not be brought to the assembly area. It is suggested that students safeguard these items by leaving them with a family member or guest.
Doors to the Fieldhouse of the University of Miami Watsco Center will be open to the Guests beginning at 5:00 p.m. Each family member and/or guest (including children) must present an MDC Admit One Person Ticket for admission to the Commencement Ceremony. Any family member or guest who arrives at the Commencement Ceremony without an MDC Admit One Person Ticket will not be admitted (NO EXCEPTIONS). This will be strictly enforced by law enforcement and the University of Miami Watsco Center staff in order to comply with the established crowd capacity of the facility and official State of Florida/Miami Dade County Fire Codes.
The University of Miami Watsco Center staff assists by ushering family members and guests to available seating areas. The staff will not permit any empty seats to be "saved" for others. This is a strictly enforced policy that enables the seating process to run smoothly. Family members and guests are encouraged to bring binoculars to facilitate viewing within the Center, as no one will be permitted to leave their seats to stand in the aisles to take photographs or otherwise.
All children in attendance must be properly supervised by their families. There will be no provisions made by Miami Dade College to supervise unattended children; therefore, appropriate personal arrangements must be made. Due to safety regulations, no strollers of any type will be allowed at the Commencement Ceremony. Please do not bring strollers with you. And remember, an MDC Admit One Ticket is required for each infant/child who attends.
If special accommodations are required, please contact the ACCESS Services department at 305-237-4907 as soon as possible and no later than Thursday, April 27, 2017 to ensure that all of the necessary and appropriate arrangements can be made. Graduating students who may require special assistance should report to a faculty marshal upon arrival at the Riverfront North Hall entrance at the University of Miami Watsco Center. Wheelchairs are NOT provided by Miami Dade College. The Graduation Stage is wheelchair and otherwise accessible to provide access for students with special needs.
Graduating student veterans may pick up special cords to wear during commencement in the West Campus Department of Student Life, Room 1122-01 during cap/gown distribution days. Veterans will be recognized during the commencement ceremony.
Parking areas are conveniently located near the Watsco Center on the Coral Gables campus. Guests are encouraged to park at the following locations:
Pavia Garage located at 5615 Pavia St, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Merrick Garage located at 5501 Merrick St, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Lot 425 N and S located adjacent to the Watsco Center at 1245 Dauer Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Parking at Ponce de Leon Garage is reserved for patients of the Lennar Foundation Medical Center only and will be strictly enforced during commencement. Commencement guests should utilize Pavia and Merrick Garages or the Serpentine Lot (425 N and S) adjacent to the Watsco Center for the most convenient parking.
Guests may also park in any other campus surface lots, except for Blue and Purple permit zones. Please note city officials will enforce all metered parking on campus and at the University Metrorail station.
Special Needs Parking
Special Needs Parking is located adjacent to the Watsco Center at the Serpentine Lot (425 N and S) adjacent to the Watsco Center on Walsh Avenue. Handicap Parking Decals or Special Passes are NOT needed. Please advise the parking attendant that your guest has special needs for access to the lot. There will be golf carts shuttling guests who cannot walk long distances to and from the Watsco Center from surrounding surface lots and the Pavia and Merrick Garages. Golf carts are reserved for guests with special needs only.
All persons entering the University of Miami Watsco Center are subject to a security screening and/or inspection of belongings. Failure to consent will result in a denial to enter the venue.
For security reasons, the following items will not be allowed in the University of Miami Watsco Center: large bags, noise makers, large cameras, tripods, coolers, balloons, banners, and baby strollers. Cell phones must be turned off or set to silent mode. If you have any questions or require additional information, contact the Department of Student Life at 305-237-8904.