C4, PTK help students make commitment to succeed

c4signupBy Megan Miras.

Have you made the commitment yet?

For two years now, Phi Theta Kappa has been using Community College Completion Corps, or C4, to educate students on the benefits of completing their degree at a community college level.

Students are encouraged to “make the pledge” by signing the commitment card and banner.

More than 150,000 total commitments have been made so far.

According to PTK Advisor Ronn Newby, universities can “pick and choose” what credits they accept. With a degree, they are less likely to be so choosy. “It is so important to complete your AA,” Newby said.

According to the C4 organization, ”students with associate degrees lose fewer credits, if any, when transferring to senior colleges.”

”Students who transfer to public senior colleges without an associate degree are often forced to take additional classes or repeat classes at the senior college at three times the cost of community college tuition.”

The campaign believes that students making the commitment to complete their degree at the community college level will save themselves a great deal of time and money.

There is also a higher success rate for students who earn their degree prior to transferring.

“More than 70 percent of community college students who transfer to a senior college with an associate degree successfully complete a baccalaureate degree” according to the C4 orgaization. “Those who transfer without the associate degree increase their likelihood of never earning a baccalaureate degree.”

c4photoThe C4 website showed results from a recent survey stating that 54 percent of students who dropped out of college “needed to work to support themselves or families and could not balance work and classes” and 31 percent “could not afford college.” The C4 organization also states that “65% of students who drop out plan to return, [but] only about 38% do return.”

Newby said there are benefits other than getting a good job from earning a degree, such as the scholarships that are offered. Iowa State University has a $1,000 transfer scholarship just for being a part of Phi Theta Kappa. Drake and Simpson also offer great scholarships, with Simpson’s PTK scholarship totaling $18,500.

Newby said that C4 helps students “by offering support and keeping students engaged at DMACC.” The contract and banner students sign is also “a daily reminder that you can do it,” Newby said. “Look at all the people that have signed and will continue to sign.”

The banner will be displayed at the capitol building March 5 of next year to show support and deliver a powerful message.

According to C4 promotional materials, in the future they hope to have more than 500 colleges taking the C4 challenge.

“We are trying to get all the community colleges in Iowa to have a C4 Day where we can promote completion at the community college level,” Newby said.

Will you make the pledge?


The Student Pledge:

I commit to planning for college completion.

I commit to discussing career planning with college instructors and staff.

I commit to seeking advisement on course selection to ensure timely college completion.

I commit to learning about and using college support networks and resources aiding college completion.

I commit to serving as a role model by attending classes, being prepared, participating in and engaging in discussion with instructors and students inside and outside of class.

I commit to reaching out to students in need by encouraging, nurturing and guiding them toward college completion.

I commit to helping at least one other student succeed.

A few more facts:

*In less than five years, 65 percent of all new jobs will require a postsecondary credential.

*Students with community college credentials in hot job fields have significantly higher starting salaries than students with baccalaureate degrees.

*When unexpected life events happen requiring a student to abruptly enter the job market, more employers hire those with a college credential over those who do not possess a credential. Employers hire those who demonstrate the discipline and determination to finish what they start.

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