Day of Graduation Procedures


Entering the Facility

Graduates are permitted to enter the building up to 90 minutes prior to the ceremony and will enter the Curtis Culwell Center via the conference area entrance on the north side of the building. When facing the building from the parking lot, the entrance is to the left. It will be clearly marked as being for graduates. Upon entry, graduates will go through security.

Graduates will be expected to adhere to the same security policies as guests and are encouraged to leave all personal items in the car.

Guests can enter the Curtis Culwell Center up to 60 minutes prior to the ceremony via the north main entrance on the first floor or the west entrance on the second floor.

Guests are not permitted to bring flowers, balloons, gifts or outside food into the Culwell Center. Concessions and flowers will be sold inside. To see a complete list of prohibited items, view the Clear Bag Policy.

Exiting the Facility

Following the ceremony, graduates and guests are asked to gather outside of the Curtis Culwell Center and vacate the parking lot in a reasonable amount of time to allow for the next ceremony. Please do not congregate inside the center. Garland Police will be assisting to clear the parking lot after each ceremony.



Graduates have until Friday, April 12, to choose their ceremony date and time, and claim their guest tickets.

All graduates will be provided e-tickets, which will be sent to their Dallas College email address between Monday, April 15 – Friday, April 19. For anyone who asked for additional tickets, a second phase of tickets will be emailed prior to graduation. Additional tickets are based on availability and the full amount requested is not guaranteed.

A ticket is required for every guest, including infants, to enter their chosen ceremony. Guests will not be able to enter the building without a ticket without exception.

Service is spotty at the Culwell Center. It’s recommended that you download, transfer or print tickets prior to your arrival.


Seating is first come, first served, and guests are asked to not reserve seating. No re-entry will be permitted.

Sign Language Interpretation

Section 114 is reserved for individuals and their families who require sign language accommodations. The arena floor is reserved for graduates and approved Dallas College staff and administrators only.


We encourage graduates to carpool with their guests as parking is limited. The Curtis Culwell Center has free parking available in multiple lots surrounding the center. There is also overflow parking available at Naaman Forest High School. View the Curtis Culwell Center parking information.

There are ample handicap accessible spots. It is recommended that guests who need handicap accessible spots park on the west side of the arena and enter through the nearest door.



Guests are not allowed on the floor or to congregate at the end of aisles to take photos. Guests are asked to take photos from their seats.

A professional photographer will be present to take pictures of graduates as they walk across the stage, and an official graduation portrait will be taken of each student immediately off the stage. Students will be given instructions at graduation on how to purchase their portraits after the event.


All graduation ceremonies will be livestreamed. Livestreaming will be available at the start of each ceremony on our Watch Live webpage.


Clear Bag Policy

To enhance public safety, the Curtis Culwell Center is limiting the size and style of bags allowed in the facility.

Approved bags include:

  • Clear totes in plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches
  • Clear, one gallon or smaller resealable plastic storage bags
  • Small clutch purses that are no longer than 6.5 x 4.5 inches

Prohibited bags and containers include:

  • All purses, bags or containers larger than a small clutch
  • Backpacks
  • Briefcases
  • Camera bags
  • Computer bags
  • Coolers
  • Diaper bags
  • Drawstring bags
  • Fanny packs
  • Luggage of any kind
  • Seat Cushions

An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection. Please limit the number of items you bring to the Curtis Culwell Center. View the Curtis Culwell Center clear bag policy.

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited inside the Curtis Culwell Center:

  • Purses, backpacks or diaper bags.
    See a full list of prohibited bags in the Clear Bag Policy section.
  • Video cameras or cameras with lenses greater than six inches
  • Flags, signs or banners
  • Outside food or beverages (concessions are available inside the center)
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Umbrellas
  • Balloons
  • Weapons
  • Animals (excluding certified service animals)
  • Flowers (flowers are available for purchase inside the center)
  • Smoking or electronic cigarettes
  • Wrapped gifts
  • Beach balls, Frisbees, bubble, silly string, glitter, confetti or laser pens
  • Monopods, tripods and selfie sticks
  • Seat cushions

All carried items and entrants are subject to search. Prohibited items must be returned to the owner’s car or discarded. Any unlawful items are subject to confiscation, and the person in possession of such items is subject to arrest. Items left at the door will be discarded.

Permitted items include bags that fall in accordance with the bag policy or items related to a medical condition.