In a “Commit to Completion” signing ceremony held during Welcome Week, Annandale Provost Barbara Saperstone joined faculty, staff and students in signing a pledge to promote strategies to produce 50 percent more community college degree and certificate holders by 2020.
The effort is spearheaded by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society, in association with five other national organizations representing the nation’s 1,200 community colleges, including the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees.
“The Community College ‘Commit to Completion’ Challenge is as much about process and culture as it is about the end result of increasing the number of credentials or degrees earned,” says Dr. Rod Risley, PTK executive director. “We must prepare students to become lifelong learners. We need a culture that values excellence, where being smart is ‘cool.’ This is a call to action to our community colleges, and our nation’s economic prosperity and democracy are hanging in the balance.”
Administrators, faculty and staff members who sign the pledge become apart of the “Community College Completion Corps” and commit to changing the emphasis in community colleges from access only to student success, eliminating attainment gaps, and mentoring and encouraging students toward college completion. The pledge can be found in the flyer section of this edition of Intercom.
“NOVA’s Board and administrators are committed to improving student success and PTK’s ‘Commit to Completion’ Challenge supports this goal. I want to encourage our campus community to sign this completion pledge and show their personal commitment to student success,” Saperstone said.
A study by the National Student Clearing House shows that community college students who transfer to four-year colleges with an associate degree complete their baccalaureate degrees 70 percent of the time.
In its 2011 American Community Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau calculated that lifetime earnings of a student who earns a bachelor’s degree is $2.4 million and those with an associate degree will earn $1.8 million, while students with only a high school diploma can expect to earn only $1.4 million in their lifetimes. The statistics also show that success in earning a college degree results in raising overall family incomes.
If you want to join the Corps on the Annandale Campus, you can complete the form and deliver it to the Provost’s office in CG 202.