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Atlantic Cape Part of Statewide Phi Theta Kappa Community College Completion Challenge

October 14, 2013

Atlantic Cape Community College is one of 19 community colleges across the state hosting a series of campus-based activities for the first-ever statewide NJ Community College Completion Challenge (NJ C4) kickoff week from Oct. 14-19.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ (NJCCC) Center for Student Success and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the NJ C4 initiative is an effort to increase the number of community college students completing their associate degrees and certificates so 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.      

“We are excited that the students of Alpha Delta Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at our college are leading this effort,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, Atlantic Cape president. “NJ C4 is a terrific program where our Phi Theta Kappa honor students will work directly with other students to encourage college completion.”

Included in the NJ C4 initiative will be a host of speakers, events and campus activities. Each day, students will be invited to sign a pledge committing to complete their college degree in less than three years on a banner displayed at each campus. Dr. Mitchell Levy, dean of students, will present a series of student success workshops Oct. 14-15, and a rally will close out the week at 12:30 p.m., Oct. 17. The winners of the college-wide student essay contest will be announced and read their essays, which answer the question: Why is it important to complete your associate degree? In addition, NJ C4 will be featured on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #NJC4.

“The NJEA is proud to partner with New Jersey’s 19 community colleges to support this statewide initiative that aims to encourage students to persevere, succeed and ultimately earn the credentials they need to succeed in New Jersey’s workforce,” said Wendell Steinhauer, NJEA president.

The NJEA is providing operational funding to support NJ C4 at Atlantic Cape. In addition, the college received a C4 Toolkit provided by Pearson Higher Education. The toolkits provide student pledge cards, faculty/staff pledge cards, signing banners, student guides, faculty/staff guides, posters, stickers, buttons and C4 bracelets.

“Phi Theta Kappa is committed to actively promoting completion of a college credential – an associate degree or certificate among college students,” said Dr. Rod Risley, executive director of Phi Theta Kappa. “Throughout this completion week in New Jersey we hope to encourage students to take that pledge and declare that they will, indeed, complete their education.”

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, showcases 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.

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers 50 career and transfer programs to more than 7,000 students at its campuses in Mays Landing, Atlantic City and Cape May Court House.