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Commencement Attendance and Academic Regalia Procedure - 40.01.04

College Policy Number/Title:


Howard Community College’s (HCC) full-time faculty are expected to attend commencement exercises in its entirety. Faculty and staff participating in the processional are expected to robe in academic regalia.

Academic Regalia Code


Howard Community College adheres to the following guidelines regarding academic regalia. The gown for the associate's degrees and certificates has pointed sleeves, is untrimmed, and is to be worn closed. The caps are black mortarboards; a long, black tassel is to be fastened to the middle point of the top of the cap only and to lie as it will thereon. During commencement exercises, candidates for degrees and certificates wear the tassels on the right front side before conferral and are directed to shift them to the left when degrees and certificates are awarded to them. Those wearing regalia always wear their caps in academic processions and during the ceremony of conferring degrees. Caps may be removed during the playing of the national anthem, and at other specified times.

Students obtain regalia through the bookstore. Students qualifying for general honors receive a gold tassel for their mortarboard and gold cord from the college. Students participating in Phi Theta Kappa, Lambda Nu, Alpha Eta, Sigma Chi Eta, and Alpha Delta Nu can purchase stoles and cords directly from the honor societies. The college provides satin stoles signifying honors in a discipline or membership in a particular honor society or learning community to the following students: Rouse Scholars (burgundy); Silas Craft Collegians (cream); Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Honors (light blue); Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] Scholars and Learning Community (royal blue); Howard P.R.I.D.E. Learning Community (white); and the Ambiciones Program (silver). Students in the STEM Undergraduate Research Program and the Global Distinction Program are provided cords. The college also recognizes graduates who served in the U.S. Armed Forces by providing a double cord in red, white, and blue.

Shoes and other articles of visible apparel worn by graduates should be of dark colors that harmonize with the academic regalia. Nothing else should be worn on the academic gown.

The regalia listed above is the only college-approved regalia to be worn at commencement. Faculty interested in obtaining additional academic regalia representative of their discipline must complete a regalia request form, available in the office of records, registration, and veterans’ affairs. President’s Team has final approval for regalia requests.

Faculty and Staff

At HCC, faculty and staff who hold degrees from other institutions wear the entire appropriate academic regalia, including cap, gown, and hood for their degree and institution. If a person holds more than one academic degree, they may wear only one hood at a time. The hood worn should be appropriate to the gown.

Members of religious orders may wear their customary habits. The same principle applies to persons wearing military uniforms or clad in special attire required by a civil office.

Those wearing regalia always wear their caps in academic processions and during the ceremony of conferring degrees. Caps may be removed during the playing of the national anthem, and at other specified times.

Faculty and staff participating in commencement who do not own their regalia may order regalia through the bookstore.

Platform Party Guests

The college provides robes, hoods, and mortarboards to the commencement platform party guests. Arrangements for ordering platform party guest regalia are handled by the president’s office.

Effective Date: 02/11/22

President's Office Use:  VPAA/VPSS/PRES

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