Mid-Plains Community College will host commencement ceremonies Friday at campuses in McCook and North Platte.
The McCook Community College ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. That will be followed by the North Platte Community College commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on NPCC's South Campus, 601 W. State Farm Rd.
As a precaution against COVID-19, certain guidelines will be followed on both campuses.
All attendees will be encouraged to wear masks, and hand sanitizer will be available. Everyone will have their temperature checked. Those with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be asked not to attend.
Graduates are invited to gather in the Auxiliary Gym at 9 a.m. for line up. Their friends and family will be directed into the main gym where they will sit in designated areas that will allow for social distancing. Each area can seat up to eight people. If there are more than that in a group, they will be divided. Graduates will be seated in designated chairs for social distancing.
There will still be a traditional processional and speakers. Photos will be taken, but there will be no handshakes with the college president. There will also not be a formal graduation line with faculty after the program.
When the ceremony is over, graduates will be encouraged to greet and congratulate each other in the park on the north side of the events center.
In North Platte:
Parking will be available in the lots south of the McDonald-Belton Building and Health and Science Center. Golf carts will be available for anyone who needs assistance with transport from the parking lots to the ceremony.
Graduates will enter the south entrance of the McDonald-Belton Building starting at 2 p.m. and will be directed to the lineup area while their friends and family are directed into the gym.
Everyone will have their temperature taken before attending the ceremony. Anyone who is not feeling well or has a temperature of 100.4 or above will be asked to excuse themselves and encouraged to self-isolate.
Both guests and graduates will sit in specific areas to allow for social distancing. Just like in McCook, the guest seating areas will be limited to no more than eight. Any groups over that number will be split up.
There will not be a formal graduation line after the program, and there will be no handshakes with the president. When commencement is over, graduates will leave through the east exits of the gym, following college personnel, but before guests.
Graduates will be encouraged to greet and congratulate each other in the grassy area between McDonald-Belton and the Health and Science Center.
Those unable to attend the ceremonies in person can watch them online at: mpcc.edu/commencement.