November 1, 2011
Phi Theta Kappa to host �Commit to Complete� signing at Cowley College�s Mulvane Center
Statistics show the surest way for anyone to land a job in their chosen
field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate. And that's
exactly what students at Cowley College’s Mulvane Center are promising
to do by signing a mass pledge to complete their degrees and certifications
before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market.
During the week of November 7-12, in the main lobby of the Mulvane Center, students will have the opportunity to sign the completion banner, showing their commitment to completing their programs. The first 500 students to sign will receive a wristband that says “I’M COMMITTED!” The event is being hosted by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Alpha Gamma Upsilon. Phi Theta Kappa members are serving as the student arm of The Community College Completion Corps, C4, a national education initiative to raise awareness of the importance of college completion not only for students but for colleges and the communities they serve.
Cowley’s PTK members will be manning a table in the main lobby of the Mulvane Center, handing out informational brochures and talking to students about the importance of completing their degree or certificate program and also offering to find help for students who run into the common roadblocks of finishing. Also during this week, the chapter members will hold a bake sale with all proceeds going towards the newly endowed Phi Theta Kappa Membership Scholarship at Cowley College. The chapter is also sponsoring an essay contest for English/composition students and Phi Theta Kappa members. The essay is to respond to the question “What motivates you to commit to complete your associate degree or certificate program at Cowley College?”
In April of 2010 leaders of six key organizations (NISOD, AACC, CCSE, ACCT, League for Innovation and Phi Theta Kappa) in higher education signed Democracy's Colleges Call to Action to engage all stakeholders in supporting community college completion. These leaders in higher education, along with President Obama, have pledged to boost college completion rates by 50 percent over the next 10 years.
"With Cowley College's current focus on retention and improving graduation rates, we felt that this was the perfect college project for our Phi Theta Kappa chapter,” PTK advisor Nancy Ayers said. “According to a quote in the Chronicle of Higher Education (November 19, 2010) only 28% of all first-time, full-time students seeking an associate degree finished a certificate or degree within three years. After six years, only 45% have met that goal. These statistics are even worse for part-time students. Community colleges have an "open door" policy, but we don't want to see that become a "revolving door". According to C4, an individual that completes an associate degree or credential could earn up to $200,000 more during a lifetime than an individual who does not complete. In most cases, it also makes transferring to a university go much smoother. Our chapter members at Mulvane want to bring this information to Cowley students and encourage them to not just take some classes, but complete a degree or certificate program before leaving Cowley College."
Letters of invitation to join Phi Theta Kappa, an International Honor Society, were mailed out at the end of September and students have until December 2 to accept membership online or in person.
Pictured: Michael Fox and Christian Decker, Phi Theta Kappa members, hold up the new "Commit to Complete" banner that will hang in the Mulvane Center lobby all next week.