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Insights Home April 2013

Jennifer Stark, 
assistant director of Academic Records and Registration

Jennifer Stark, assistant director of
Academic Records and Registration

Preparing to Graduate?
by Jennifer Stark, assistant director of Academic Records and Registration

Our students tell us that completing their degree requirements and finishing their last course or exam is the fulfillment of a lifelong goal. We encourage our students to successfully prepare for this occasion by following these tips:

Tip 1: Getting ready to graduate? Make sure you are actively enrolled. In order to be considered for graduation, students must be actively enrolled in the College. You are considered 'enrolled' during the 12 months following the date that you pay your Annual Enrollment Fee.

If you are a student among our contract populations, such as military, Corporate Choice® participants, enrolled in the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing program or are enrolled under another specialized program agreement with the College, you are considered 'enrolled' one year from the start date of the most recent course in which you are registered. It is important to keep in mind that being registered for a course does not necessarily mean that you are actively enrolled in the College.

Tip 2: Make your final advisement appointment. As an enrolled student, you should make a final appointment with your academic advisor to ensure all degree requirements have been met. Your academic advisor will complete a pre-graduation review and direct you on the next steps. If you prefer not to make an advisement appointment, it is still important to review your most recent Academic Program Evaluation to make sure you have completed all necessary degree requirements.

Tip 3: Once you have confirmed that you have satisfied all your degree requirements, you can complete the Request for Graduation Form on the "Student Forms" page.

Tip 4: Familiarize yourself with the request for graduation deadline dates. When you are ready to apply for graduation, be mindful of the official graduation request deadlines. This deadline will also be the deadline for any of your incoming credit(s) to be received by the College, any remaining Thomas Edison State College courses to be completed and any outstanding balances to be paid. It is strongly suggested that you submit the Request for Graduation Form and payment while you are still in your last course. You do not have to wait until the course is completed to submit the form.

There are four graduation dates each year, with four corresponding deadlines by which you need to submit your Request for Graduation Form:

Application Deadline
For Graduation in:
July 1
October 1
January 1
April 1

Tip 5: In order to graduate, you will need final approval by the College's Board of Trustees. When you are certified for graduation, you have done your part by submitting the Request for Graduation Form, your academic graduation readiness review has been conducted by College staff and the graduation auditing team has determined that you have satisfied all degree requirements. Your certification will then be forwarded to the College’s Board of Trustees.

Once the Board of Trustees meets and confers your degree, you will be an 'official' graduate of Thomas Edison State College. Please note that prior to this, any transcript request fulfilled by the Office of the Registrar will not contain complete degree information. Your degree will only be officially listed after the Board of Trustees meets and confers your degree. Your diploma will then be mailed to you along with supporting documentation, including a final transcript and a letter certifying your degree. You may expect to receive these materials approximately two weeks after the official date of graduation.

Tip 6: Remember, 'Graduation' and 'Commencement' are two different things. Some students confuse graduation with commencement, and it is an easy mistake to make. However, there is only one annual Commencement Ceremony for graduates and their families. It is usually scheduled for a Saturday in September at the Sun National Bank Center, in Trenton, N.J.

And, the most important step of all: Celebrate with us! The entire College community looks forward to seeing all of its graduates and family members at the Annual Commencement Ceremony, so please consider attending this event. We are very proud to serve, assist and accompany you on your journey as a student at Thomas Edison State College and celebrate your momentous achievement.

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