Convocation Ceremony Policy

Policy Number: SS-3001-1982
Policy Title: Convocation Ceremony
Policy Owner: Registrar
Effective Date: June 6, 2007
Revision Date: March 15, 2015

On this page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Policy Revision Date
  8. Attachments
  9. Specific Links

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the College’s approach to formally recognize the successful completion of programs of studies.


2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all students registered in full-time and part-time postsecondary diploma and certificate programs, Continuing Education diploma and certificate programs and apprenticeship programs.


3. Definitions

“Apprentice” means an individual whom has entered into a registered training agreement under which the individual is to receive training in a trade required as part of an apprenticeship program established by the College.

“Certificate” is awarded to a student after successfully completing all requirements of an approved program of three semesters or less (or the equivalent in part-time studies), including graduate certificate programs.

“Convocation” is an official ceremony for awarding of diplomas, advanced diplomas, certificates, graduate certificates and/or degrees.

“Diploma” is awarded to a student who has successfully completed all requirements of an approved post-secondary program of four to six semesters (or the equivalent in part-time studies).

“Graduand” is the designation for a student prior to receiving an academic credential.

“Liripipe” was first used in Europe during the Middle-Ages as a mark of distinction. A Master would take the tail of his Master’s Hood and present it to his student as a recognition that the student has successfully completed the training period and was now accepted into the Guild.

“Program” refers to a group of courses leading to a particular diploma, advanced diploma, certificate, graduate certificate or degree.

“Regalia” refers to the clothes that comprise the long-standing tradition of ceremonial academic costume including gown and hood.


4. Principles

Convocation ceremonies are an integral part of the business of the College. Mohawk College respects the tradition of convocation with a number of ceremonies annually at which students are presented with a diploma, certificate or degree to mark successful completion of a post-secondary, apprenticeship or continuing education program.


5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Management Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Registrar is responsible for monitoring this policy according to the schedule established by Corporate Services or more frequently in response to feedback from the College community.


6. Rules

6.1 Under the auspices of the Board of Governors, Mohawk College will conduct annual convocation ceremonies to formally recognize successful completion of an academic credential for postsecondary, Continuing Education and Apprenticeship programs.

Ceremonies awarding a postsecondary diploma, advanced diploma, certificate, graduate certificate or degree will be held in the Spring and Fall.

Mohawk College will conduct one annual convocation ceremony to recognize successful completion of certificate and diploma programs offered through Continuing Education and apprenticeship programs.

6.2 With limited exceptions, graduands are required to follow the long-standing dignity and ceremonial tradition of wearing the traditional academic regalia at all times during the ceremony, except:

Indigenous students who may opt to wear their traditional Regalia;
Active military personnel who may opt to wear their dress uniform; and
Clergy/members of religious orders who may opt to wear their religious apparel when receiving their academic liripipe.

Graduands will be informed of ceremony expectations prior to convocation. Graduands who refuse to comply with the dress code will not be allowed to participate in the convocation ceremony.

6.3 Special recognition awards will be presented to graduates, community members and staff at convocation ceremonies when applicable.

Recipients of special recognition awards and/or alumni members will be extended an invitation to be a convocation ceremony guest speaker as per policy SS-3000-2014. Speeches must be submitted at least one week in advance to the Registrar’s Office for review.

6.4 Convocation ceremonies will be videotaped and streamed live on the web. Mohawk College reserves the right to use photographs and videos taken during convocation in College print and electronic publications.


7. Policy Revision Date

7.1 Revision Date

This policy will be reviewed February 2018.

7.2 Responsibility

The Registrar is responsible for monitoring this policy every three years or earlier when required.


8. Attachments


9. Specific Links

Appendix A - Convocation Ceremony Procedures

P1. Students who are eligible to graduate, from postsecondary diploma/certificate programs and apprenticeship programs, are required to submit an Application to Graduate by the published deadline.

Continuing Education students who are eligible for a diploma or certificate, according to program regulations, must submit the “Continuing Education Request for Certificate” form (graduates of Certificate Programs) or the “Application to Graduate” form (diploma graduates) by the published deadline.

An invitation to attend an appropriate Convocation ceremony will be issued by the Registrar’s Office to each student who is confirmed eligible to graduate.

P2. Convocation ceremonies include an Indigenous procession, followed by the procession of graduands and the platform party. The platform party includes academic faculty, Board of Governor representatives, Senior Management Team members, the Convocation Speaker, special guests and staff entering the Centre.

The platform party begins the Ceremony recession led by a bag-piper.

On behalf of the Board of Governors, the Registrar (or designate) will convene the Convocation ceremonies, with appropriate assistance from the Academic Schools and other College divisions as appropriate.

P3. The Master of Ceremony will commence the ceremony by introducing the singing of the National Anthem; a welcome message; and the introduction of the platform party. Following the introduction of the Convocation Speaker and the Speaker’s address, the Mohawk Student Association President and the College President will give their remarks.

Graduands will be directed to individually cross the stage after their name is read by the designated reader. The Vice President Academic, or designate from the students’ faculty, will bestow a liripipe on each gowned student.

The President (or designate) will extend formal congratulations to each student.

The Board of Governors representative brings greetings from the Board and gives the Charge to the Graduates. Presentation of awards, when applicable, are presented by the Vice President, Academic (or designate) prior to the closing of the ceremony.

P4. Graduands are prohibited from:

  • wearing hats unless they are part of their traditional ceremonial dress as noted in the policy;
  • pinning anything to their gown; and
  • carrying anything into the MPAC at the time of the ceremony (i.e. cell phones, cameras, purses, pictures, flowers, food or drink etc.).

P5. Graduates not in attendance at the convocation ceremony will have the option to pick-up their Diploma/Certificate/Degree or have it mailed providing they are in good standing at the college, i.e. no holds on their account.

Special Training Programs

To mark successful completion of specialized training programs and academic upgrading, representatives of the Campus/School may convene an achievement celebration, or graduation ceremony, to be held following the completion date of studies. The celebration will be held on location at the appropriate campus.

Traditional academic regalia and liripipes will not be part of the ceremony.

The Dean of the School/Program (or designate) will present the document to the student.

Assistance from the Registrar’s Office will be provided as required.