Nationwide Program Helps Students Graduate
, smaller and more flexible than most four-year colleges or universities, North Lake College (NLC) has a new strategy to help students reach their educational goals: Commit to Complete
. Part of a district-wide initiative, Commit to Complete
encourages students to finish their Associate Degree, rather than simply acquiring their core credits before transferring to another university.
Yolanda Romero, Sponsor of NLC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, says the program stemmed from The Community College Completion Challenge (C4), a national campaign that aims to produce 5 million more associate degree and certificate holders by 2020.
“A person with an Associate Degree will make $400,000 in their lifetime more than just a high school graduate. [And] life happens… if they get an Associates and the student has to drop out of college, at least they have a degree and not just hours. [It] proves that the student has completed something, it shows commitment.”
Four-year institutions recognize the commitment Romero describes, setting aside scholarship money specifically for AA and AS transfer students. Nevertheless, these applicant numbers are dwindling. The US has dropped from number one to number sixteen in terms of the percentage of the population earning a higher education credential. Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa, Dr.Rod Risely, is concerned.
“Let’s put this in perspective: There are 7 million students in our community college system today taking courses for credit. Fifty percent of these aspire to a Baccalaureate degree…(or) 3.5 million. Only 10% make it to the finish line. We’re talking 350,000 students…We are spending so much money on students who are not prepared to enter college.”
To ensure the success of Commit to Complete at North Lake, Phi Theta Kappa will host its biannual C4 pledge event March 27th in the Student Life Center. They anticipate strong student participation after receiving 187 attendees at the fall event, 121 who pledged and 132 who filed degree plans and completion forms.
“We’re hoping to get some motivational speakers for the rally,” says Jeong Lee, president of the chapter. “We are also having our own students speak. Students are more effective than anything else.”
Open to the public, the rally begins at 12:30 p.m.
Editor's note: For interviews, photo opportunities and media support, please contact Marielle Perrault
, Marketing and Advertising Coordinator, at 972-860-3957, or the North Lake College Public Information Office, 972-273-3004.
North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County Community College District. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College District without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or gender expression.