GCC Students Pledge to ‘Commit to Complete'

Batavia, New York - 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 Genesee Community College are promising to do – signing a collective pledge to complete their degrees and certifications before leaving their community college to transfer or enter the job market.

Batavia, New York - 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 Genesee Community College are promising to do – signing a collective pledge to complete their degrees and certifications before leaving their community college to transfer or enter the job market.

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 7:00pm students will gather in the Student Union to sign the ‘Commit to Complete’ degree completion pledge, part of a national community college movement. The event is being hosted by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Iota Upsilon chapter. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members are serving as the student arm of The Community College Completion Corps, also known as ‘C4’, a national education initiative. To find out more visit www.cccompletioncorps.org .

In addition to the pledge signing, students in Genesee’s PTK chapter will be speaking in classrooms throughout the college on the importance of completing their degrees. The C4 initiative will be a multi-semester program encouraging all community college students to complete their desired degrees or certificates.

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.

In October 2010, the first White House Summit on Community Colleges was hosted by Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden and a community college professor. President Obama, philanthropist Melinda Gates and a host of speakers praised community colleges for serving almost half of the nation's college students and playing a pivotal role in educating the workforce.

The President has called for community colleges to produce an additional five million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years, part of his goal to restore the United States as the world's leader in college graduates.
"Even though most students understand the value of a college education, many do not realize that simply having an accumulation of credits will not make them competitive in the job market. If they focus their studies and complete a degree, their marketability increases dramatically,” Elise Banfield, assistant professor of Psychology and advisor to GCC’s PTK chapter said. “Some students believe that they do not need to complete their two-year degree because they are ultimately seeking a Bachelor's degree. While this may be their end goal, it is so very important for students to complete the two-year degree along the way so that they have a degree to show for two years of the work they've completed towards their Bachelor's degree."

Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership, and service programming. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.6 to become a member.

For more information about the C4 initiative or PTK, please contact Elise Banfield at 585-343-0055 x6294 or email ecbanfield@genesee.edu.

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