Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog 
2023-2024 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements

Meeting Graduation Requirements

It is the responsibility of the student to know and to observe the requirements of his or her curriculum and the rules governing academic work. Although the advisor will attempt to help the student make wise decisions, the final responsibility for meeting these re­quirements for graduation rests with the student.

In those instances where a student receives information from an advisor that might have an impact upon graduation requirements or application of credits toward graduation, the student is advised to secure such commitment in writing. It is further advised that such commitment be retained by the student until the sequence of events is such that it would be no longer necessary to demonstrate the establishment of such a commitment.

It is recommended that students have their credits evaluated for graduation by the Registrar two semesters before actual gradua­tion. This is to ensure all graduation requirements will have been met by the time the student plans to graduate.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Graduation requirements in effect at the time of a student’s initial enrollment will remain in effect as long as the student is continu­ously enrolled at Iowa Western Community College. Continuous enrollment is defined as consecutive fall and spring terms, and is subject to a five-year limitation. If changes occur in graduation re­quirements subsequent to initial enrollment, the student may elect to graduate under the most recent requirements. A student must satisfy the most recent requirements if a break in enrollment in the College for two or more consecutive semesters occurs. Students who elect to change their major must satisfy requirements in effect at the time of the change.

Dual Degrees/Multiple Degrees

A student who has met the requirements for an Associate’s degree at Iowa Western Community College must complete a minimum of eighteen additional semester hours at Iowa Western Community College for a second Associate’s degree and an additional eigh­teen semester hours for each successive Associate’s degree. The student must meet all degree requirements as specified by each program. The student must submit a new Application for Gradua­tion for each degree, even when the student wishes to have them conferred at the same time.

Honorary Degree

The purpose of the Honorary Associate’s degree is to recognize individuals in the community who have distinguished themselves through their professional careers or who have made an outstand­ing contribution to the college or the community. Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals in the following categories:

  • Alumni who have achieved significant success in their personal and public lives;
  • Individuals from within the college’s service area who have contributed significantly to the progress and development of the college; and
  • Citizens who have contributed significantly to the progress and development of Iowa Western Community College.

Individuals are not eligible for this award if they are currently em­ployed by the college or serving on the Board of Trustees. A separation from such employment or service of at least two years is a prerequisite for eligibility. Recommendations for such honorary degrees shall be made to the President and approval granted by the President and his Cabinet prior to the award being made.

Graduation Application and Automatic Graduation

Students who plan to earn a degree, diploma, or certificate should submit a graduation application at the beginning of the term in which they plan to complete all requirements. At the conclusion of the fall, spring and summer terms, as well as the winter interim ses­sion, the Records and Registration Office will verify final grades, and then students who have completed graduation requirements for their program of study will be marked as graduates on their official transcript. Students who do not meet all requirements for graduation will be promptly notified by the Records and Registra­tion Office, at which time a new course of action for degree attain­ment will be recommended.

In addition, at the conclusion of the fall, spring and summer terms, as well as the winter interim session, the Records and Registration Office will identify students who have met graduation requirements for a degree, diploma and/or certificate, and will automatically grad­uate such students, even though no application for graduation was submitted and regardless of the major on file. These students will be marked as graduates on their official transcript, and they will be notified of their respective award.


Iowa Western Community College conducts three commencement ceremonies at the Council Bluffs campus each year. One fall ceremony is held in December, and two spring ceremonies are held in May.

Although voluntary, participation is strongly encouraged. In order to participate, students must indicate their intention to participate by getting measured for the cap and gown to wear at the ceremony. Participation will be limited to students whose degree audits indicate that all graduation requirements are either “complete” or “in progress”. Participation does not guarantee that students will officially graduate, as final grades are not verified and final audits are not conducted until after the ceremony.


Diplomas are mailed to the student’s address on file within six weeks of the conclusion of the term in which students graduate, after final grades are recorded and the Registrar has verified that all requirements for graduation have been satisfied. Diplomas are not presented at the commencement ceremony. All financial obli­gations to the college must be met before the college will release a student’s diploma. A student may order a replacement diploma by notifying the Records and Registration Office; the cost for the replacement shall be the student’s responsibility and it must be paid before a replacement will be ordered.

Graduation with Honors

Any graduate who has attained a cumulative grade point aver­age of 3.5-3.69 shall be graduated with “Honors.” A graduate who has attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.7-3.89 shall be graduated with “High Honors.” Graduates who have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or above shall be graduated with “Highest Honors.” Honors will be recognized on the official academic transcript.

Graduation Requirements

Iowa Western Community College is authorized by the State of Iowa to grant the following degrees, diplomas, and certificates upon satis­factory completion of a specific curriculum or degree program.

Associate of Arts (in effect Fall 2018)  

Associate of Science (in effect Fall 2018)  

Associate of General Studies (in effect Fall 2018)  

Associate of Applied Science (in effect Fall 2018)  

Diploma (in effect Fall 2012)  

Certificate (in effect Fall 2012)  

Diversity Requirement