And that’s exactly what students at Glen Oaks Community College are promising to do — signing a mass pledge to complete their associate degrees or certificates before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market. Administrators, faculty and staff have also been asked to sign the pledge, committing themselves to do whatever they can to facilitate completion of student credentials.
On Thurs., February 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the GOCC Concourse, students will gather to sign the completion pledge, as part of a national community college movement. The event is being hosted by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter Alpha Delta Omega. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members are serving as the student arm of the Community College Completion Challenge, a national education initiative.
“We hope to impress upon students, the importance of the commitment to complete,” says Anne McLeod, president of the GOCC Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. “Students who make the commitment are more likely to complete, and ultimately, they are more likely to be successful.”
“We’re excited that our PTK chapter is hosting this event,” says Chad Worthington, professor of psychology and faculty advisor to the chapter. “We’re hoping to inspire students to make the commitment and set an example for others.”
More information on the initiative is available at www.cccompletioncorps.org.
In April 2010 leaders of six national organizations representing the nation’s 1,200 community colleges signed The Call to Action, a pledge to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was the only student organization asked to participate. PTK launched the Community College Completion Corps in response to this call.
At the 2010 White House Summit for Community Colleges President Obama called for community colleges to produce an additional five million degrees and certificates in the next ten years, part of a goal to restore the United States as the world’s leader in college graduates. The U.S. is now ranked 16th among industrialized countries in the percentage of citizens holding higher education credentials.
Students who complete their degrees or certificates will earn an average of $500,000 more over the course of their careers than their peers who did not complete. In addition, individuals with credentials are less likely to become unemployed than their co-workers who did not earn credentials.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,280 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than two million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually. Learn more about Phi Theta Kappa at www.ptk.org.