Due to the current global epidemic, all in-person events have been cancelled. This includes the commencement ceremony for Spring 2020, originally scheduled for June 25th. Any kind of social gathering is not recommended in the state of Washington as a stay-at-home order is in effect. Currently there are 1153 students who applied for graduation. The Commencement ceremony, which is a separate event from the graduation, has been held every June at T-Mobile Park, with students wearing the classic gown, cap, stole, and tassels. It’s a time to celebrate their hard work and achievement, just like any graduation ceremony.
Some schools are planning to switch their in-person ceremonies into online meetings, which has never happened before. Will Seattle Central hold the commencement ceremony in other ways, such as a live webcast?
“All of the Seattle Colleges are still discussing how to offer graduates the chance to experience commencement, now that we have been forced to cancel the June event at T-Mobile Park. We have not decided yet what that experience will look like. We have considered options like a virtual graduation, and we are in communications with student leadership to see what students would prefer.” said Roberto Bonaccorso, Seattle Central College’s Director of Communications. He also mentioned that “Graduation and commencement are separate – a student can graduate when they meet the requirements of their program, but they are not required to attend the commencement ceremony to get their diploma or other credentials.”
For students who are planning to graduate after taking 90 credits of courses, if they have already applied for graduation with the designated form, getting the degree is still possible regardless of whether the commencement ceremony is going to take place. According to the announcement from Seattle Central’s most frequently asked questions for remote operations in Spring 2020, the school is figuring out the best ways to solve this situation.
“Uncertainty around the current pandemic has led us to cancel the June 25th in-person commencement ceremony. However, we are working with student leaders to evaluate options and alternatives to show love, appreciation, and admiration to graduates. Make no mistake, we are determined to celebrate the Class of 2020 in a manner fitting of our students’ hard work and perseverance. Graduates should apply for graduation in the normal manner.”
Seattle Central is also figuring out ways to adjust schedules for some classes that require in-person instructions. Classes that require in-person instructions include science classes that are hybrid classes. Other classes that may start in-person instruction are apparel design, marine tech, nursing, dental and medical classes. Seattle Central decided to pause enrollment of classes such as culinary and construction classes until further notice. Currently, all in-person services in Seattle Central are closed, due to the extended stay at home order. The school originally closed on March 13th and has paused all in-person instruction since then.