TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ (NJCCC) Center for Student Success has partnered with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) for the second consecutive year for New Jersey’s statewide Phi Theta Kappa Community College Completion Challenge (NJC4), a statewide effort to increase awareness about the importance of completing an associate degree or certificate.
The NJC4 initiative is an effort to increase the number of community college students completing their associate degrees and certificates so that they have the credentials they need to successfully transfer to four-year colleges and universities to earn their bachelor’s degrees and enter careers that provide family-sustaining wages.
Sussex County Community College (SCCC) joined the other 18 community colleges across the state and hosted a series of campus-wide college completion activities during the week of October 27 to October 31. Some events included a “Commit to Complete” signing as well as a powerful presentation about “Willpower” by speaker, Jon Vroman. The NJCCC has once again partnered with the NJEA and provided SCCC with a $500 grant for their Phi Theta Kappa chapter to help offset the cost of the NJC4 activities.
Phi Theta Kappa student leadership at SCCC headed the initiative. In addition, all colleges that participated received a C4 Toolkit provided by Pearson Higher Education. The toolkits provided student pledge cards, faculty/staff pledge cards and signing banners.
“What better way for students to hear about the advantages of completing their degree than from other students who are also willing to offer help in tutoring, workshops and inspiring them with a motivational speaker” stated Vice President of Student Services, Debbie McFadden. “The College and PTK continue to increase awareness on the importance of degree completion through our Degree Advantage program along with other retention opportunities.”
The second annual NJC4 initiative culminates at the Phi Theta Kappa Middle States Region Honors in Action Conference at Bergen Community College in Lyndhurst on Saturday, November 1.
This year’s event also incorporated CollegeFish.org, a website designed to help students transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
“We are excited about NJC4 at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges,” said NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence A. Nespoli. “The addition of CollegeFish to the initiative will only enhance the program and allow us to help the students make accurate, informed decisions when planning to transfer to four-year colleges and universities to earn their bachelor’s degrees.”
The national Community College Completion Initiative began in April 2010 when leaders from the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees, the League for Innovation in the Community College, and the Center for Community College Student Engagement signed Democracy’s Colleges: A Call to Action. The Community College Completion Challenge website, www.cccompletionchallenge.org and C4 website www.cccompletioncorps.org showcase the missions, action plans and strategies developed by each organization to involve their constituents to produce 5 million more associate degree and certificate holders by 2020.
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community college students. Its mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide them with opportunities for individual growth and development through service, leadership, honors, and fellowship programs.
The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government. The Council is also the state coordinating organization for all community colleges in New Jersey.