Graduation Information

Spring 2021 Graduation Information

Friday, May 7, 2021 5:30pm

Saturday, May 08, 2021 10:00am






Friday, May 7, 2021 5:30pm

Spring Commencement

Saturday, May 08, 2021 10:00am

Spring Commencement

Our Spring 2021 Commencement will be live streamed on this page as well as our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch accounts.

Join us Saturday, April 10th for the Grad Party Drive Thru anytime between 9am and 11am!

During this event, graduates will receive their regalia including cap and gown, honor cord and/or military recognition cord and complimentary Alumni t-shirt. PTK regalia will NOT be available for purchase at this event.


The plan is really simple! You will pull up in your vehicle, give us your name and we will gather your items for you. You will never leave your car!


The Grad Party Drive Thru event for graduates is RSVP ONLY!! This is the only way your regalia will be available on April 10th. If you do not RSVP, we will NOT have your regalia at this event!                     


Graduates MUST RSVP by April 2nd!


In case of inclement weather, this event will be moved to Saturday, April 17th. If the event is going to be rescheduled, graduates will be notified by email on Friday, April 9th no later than noon.


There will be a car decorating contest if you would like to enter. The winner will receive a prize and will be recognized during the Commencement Ceremony.

Exit Exam
All Associate degree graduates are required to take the Exit Exam. In order to test at the Cleveland
campus, you must make a reservation through your CougarNet account. In order to test at the
Athens campus, you must contact their Testing Center at 423-472-7141 ext. 463. You should
complete this requirement in the same semester you plan to graduate. Please do not test early.
Exit Exams must be completed prior to final exams. Be sure to take a photo ID to the Testing Center
on your test date.

Fall Grads: August – December
Spring Grads : January – May
Summer Grads : June – August

o To complete the Exit Exam, you can make a reservation by going to your CougarNet account and
clicking on the Academics Tab. Then, look for the Testing Center Reservations link at the bottom
left of the screen. If you would rather test at the Athens Campus, please contact their Testing
Center at 423-745-8486. There is also an option to test at home. You will need to email the Testing
Center at to register.

o There is no need to study for this approximately 45 minute exam. Although you will want to do your
very best, there isn’t a certain score you have to make. You just have to complete it. However, if
you do not take the exam seriously you will be asked to retest.

Program Test
Some departments require a separate Program Test. This is notated on your Intent to Graduate
form if your degree requires this test. If you have already completed the Program Test previously,
you do not have to complete it again. This test does not fulfill the Exit Exam requirement.
Please contact the appropriate departmental secretary with any questions about the Program Test.

Caps & Gowns
Caps and gowns will be available at the Grad Party Drive Thru on Saturday, April 10th.
Graduates MUST RSVP for this event in order to pick up their regalia! If
you are unable to attend that day, you can pick up your cap and gown from the Bookstore during
normal hours April 12th - May 6th. There is no charge for the initial set of caps and
Replacement sets will be $34 plus tax. 
There will be no regalia pickup on May 7th or 8th! 

The College welcomes the opportunity for students to celebrate this milestone in their lives by
decorating their mortarboard. However, we ask that discretion be used by not displaying
profanities, political messages, advertisements, inappropriate decorations, or phrases. The
College reserves the right to examine the mortarboard and if deemed inappropriate, ask the
graduate to either revise or totally remove the mortarboard. Items should not hang off the sides
of the mortarboard and 3-D objects should not be attached. If the mortarboard is deemed
inappropriate, the graduate will not be permitted to participate in the ceremony. 

Honor Cords
Graduates are eligible for an honor cord if they are earning an AA, AS, AFA, or AAS degree and
their overall GPA at the end of the Fall 2020 Semester is at least 3.30. Certificate students are
not eligible for an honor cord. Honor cords will be available when picking up your cap and gown.
Graduates must show photo ID in order to pick up their honor cord. Each eligible graduate will be
given one honor cord free of charge. Replacement honor cords will be available to purchase in the
Bookstore for $12.

3.80 - 4.00 Highest Honors: White & Gold
3.60 - 3.79 High Honors Light: Blue & Gold
3.30 - 3.59 Honors: Navy & Gold

Phi Theta Kappa members have the option to purchase honors stoles and tassels to wear with
their regalia. The Cleveland State Business Office and the Athens Front Desk sell stoles for $26
and tassels for $10. They both accept credit card and check, and the Cleveland Business office will
also accept cash. NJCAA (athletic), STEM, and Nursing stoles are also available at the
Store for $35 + shipping. Please contact Kimberly Harrington at
for more information.

Military Recognition
Graduates who are currently serving, or who have served honorably, in the Armed Forces are
eligible for this recognition. Please contact Tishauna Hoffman in Veterans Services at to ensure your eligibility has been recorded. Cleveland State
prides itself on being a veteran friendly campus.

Military Recognition Cord: Red, White & Blue

 Commencement Ceremonies
The college will host its Spring Commencement Ceremonies in the L. Quentin Lane

Friday, May 7, 2021 at 5:30PM - Business & Healthcare Graduates
Gymnasium Opens for Guests – 3:45 pm
Graduates Arrive – 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10AM - Advanced Technology, Arts & Humanities, Education, Social
Sciences, STEM & TVEC Graduates
Gymnasium Opens for Guests – 8:45 am
Graduates Arrive – 9:00 am – 9:30 am

Graduates should report to the south entrance of the Student Center wearing their regalia for check-in. Once checked in graduates will be directed to their appropriate line up area. Please do not bring any
personal belongings with you! We will not lock the building doors! Graduates will be lined up
within their Career Community. Also, please note that graduates will not be permitted to have
small children with them in the lineup area or during the ceremony and therefore they should
remain in the care of family/friends. No food or drinks will be allowed in the lineup area or in the
graduates seating area. The Student Center is reserved for graduates only on the day of the
ceremony. Guests should report directly to the gymnasium. Graduates are permitted two guests
only for the ceremony! Names of guests must be submitted no later than May 5th! There will be
no changes made to the names submitted after this date! Graduation participation is RSVP
only and graduate capacity for each ceremony is 130!

 Commencement Photographer
GradImages will be at both Commencement Ceremonies taking professional photographs. Proofs
will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be
ordered online, by phone, or by mail. GradImages can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or via email
at Registering with GradImages provides them with the information they
need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate
mailing address and email address will allow them to get your proofs to you on the first try. You
may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow
them to celebrate in the accomplishment.

 Ceremony Viewing Options
For family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony, it
will be broadcast live on the CSCC website on Friday, May 7th at 5:30 pm and Saturday, May 8th at 10 am. A week after the ceremony, DVD copies will be available in the Library. Previous
graduation recordings are available on our YouTube channel.

 Special Accommodations
Disability Services

Graduation is held in our gymnasium with stadium seating. Reserved seating on the floor is
available upon request. Reserved seats will only be held until 30 minutes prior to the ceremony
beginning. Any student or guest(s) that requires special accommodations should contact:

Juliann Mathis
Coordinator of Disability Support Services

Any questions or concerns about special parking accommodations should contact:
Campus Police 423-478-6236 or 423-618-1720

Degree Completion
Please note that participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not guarantee that you will
receive a diploma. You will not receive your diploma until all degree requirements and obligations
are met. Please check your CougarNet account to verify that you do not have any holds.

  Grade Point Averages
The grade points received for all college level credits earned at Cleveland State
are averaged to determine eligibility for graduation and for honors status.
Transfer courses do not count toward the GPA. A minimum grade point average
(GPA) of 2.00 is required to qualify for graduation.

Any holds on your account will prevent you from receiving your diploma/certificate and transcript. It
is recommended that you check your CougarNet account for any possible holds as soon as

Diploma Covers
Diploma covers are ONLY available to those who participate in the Commencement Ceremony and
are not available for purchase. 

Pick Up
If all requirements have been met, diplomas will be available for pick up in the Enrollment Services
Center during the dates listed below. Any diploma not picked up will be mailed to the address we
have on file. If your address is not updated and diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you
will be subject to a $10 replacement diploma fee. The Graduation Coordinator will notify you if
diplomas are ready prior to the advertised date. Diplomas are not distributed during the ceremony.

Spring: June 7th - 10th
Summer: August 30th - September 2nd

 If you need another person to pick up your diploma and have not already indicated this on your
intent, you will need to email from your CougarNet email ONLY.
The email must include the authorized person’s full name along with your permission to pick up the
diploma in order for us to release it. They will also have to show photo ID.

 Degrees will be posted to students’ transcripts (excluding any issues) by:

Spring: May 22nd
Summer: August 20th

Once posted, your transcript will show that you have graduated. You can print an unofficial
transcript or request an official copy through your CougarNet account.

The information we have in our system is the information we will use for all graduation printing.

Name Changes
If your legal name has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Name, SSN, or Date of
Birth” form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms. This ensures
your name is correct on your diploma as well as in the Commencement program.
All name changes must be submitted no later than April 9, 2021!

Address Changes
If your address has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Address or Phone Number”
form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms.  If your address
is not updated and diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you will be subject to a $10
replacement diploma fee.
Spring: June 1st
Summer: August 25th
 Transcript requests are made through CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms /
Transcript Information / Request Printed Official Transcript. This will link you to the National
Student Clearinghouse where the request can be submitted. Once the request is submitted, you
can view the status by clicking the “Track Existing Transcript Order” link.

 Transcripts are provided electronically through the National Student Clearinghouse. Please note
you must indicate on your request that you would like your transcript after your degree is posted. 
Otherwise, it will be sent before the degree is posted to your transcript and a new request will be

Graduation Questions: Ceremony Specific

Contact: Carolina Roman
*Ceremony Information
  *Program Ordering

Graduation Questions:Course Requirements/Degree Information

Contact: Lindsey Mowery
*Intent to Graduate Form
*Regalia and Honor Cords
*Diploma Information

 Exit Exam

Contact: Testing Center


Contact: Kimberly Harrington

 Military Recognition

Contact: Tishauna Hoffman


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway