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Phi Theta Kappa to Host “Community College Completion Corps” Summit at CCM

Joining the President’s Call to Increase Student Success Rates
Statistics show the surest way for anyone to land a job in his or her chosen field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate. And that's exactly what the Student Government Association (SGA) at County College of Morris (CCM) is encouraging students to do – to commit to completing their degrees and certifications before leaving community college to transfer to a four-year school or enter the job market.

On March 23 at 10 a.m., members of the SGA will join with Phi Theta Kappa chapters from across New Jersey for a community college completion summit at CCM. Co-hosted by CCM’s Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and the SGA, the summit will feature speakers and activities to educate student leaders on how they can help to promote community college completion at their colleges.

“We are proud to host this event so that we may give our fellow student leaders the tools and knowledge necessary to promote community college completion at their own campuses throughout New Jersey,” says Katie Davis of Morris Plains, president of the Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

In April 2010, leaders of six national organizations representing the nation's 1,200 community colleges signed a Call to Action to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade. The 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 Barack 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 United States has fallen from number one to number 16 amongst industrialized nations in the percentage of its population that has earned a higher education degree or credential. Nearly 85 percent of community college students express aspirations to complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, yet only 45 percent end up earning a higher education credential. As of 2010, 67 percent of all new jobs now require a higher education degree or certificate.

President Obama has called on community colleges to produce an additional five million degree-holders by 2020 as part of his goal to restore the United States as the world's leader in college graduates.

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,250 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than two million students have been inducted since the honor society’s founding in 1918, with approximately 100,000 students inducted annually.