LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College students will gather at 1 p.m. on Dec. 4 in the Fred G. Williams Student Center to sign a pledge to complete their associate degrees or certificates before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market.
Administrators, faculty and staff have also been asked to sign the pledge, committing themselves to do whatever they can to facilitate completion of student credentials. The pledge is part of a national community college movement.
The event is being hosted by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, Beta Delta Mu. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members are serving as the student arm of the Community College Completion Challenge, a national education initiative. Learn more at www.cccompletioncorps.org .
College President Pamela Hilbert will speak to the student body on the importance of community college credentials. Other RCC administrators, vice presidents and department chairs will also be on hand to sign the completion pledge and show their commitment to student success.
In April 2010, leaders of six national organizations representing the nation’s 1,200 community colleges signed “The Call to Action,” a pledge to increase student completion rates by 50 percent over the next decade. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was the only student organization asked to participate. Phi Theta Kappa launched the Community College Completion Corps in response to this call.
At the 2010 White House Summit for Community Colleges, President Obama called for community colleges to produce an additional 5 million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years, part of a goal to restore the United States as the world’s leader in college graduates. The U.S. is now ranked 16th among industrialized countries in the percentage of citizens holding higher education credentials.
Students who complete their degrees or certificates will earn an average of $500,000 more over the course of their careers than their peers who did not complete. In addition, individuals with credentials are less likely to become unemployed than their co-workers who did not earn credentials.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, about 38 percent of U.S. residents aged 25 to 64 hold a college degree, Another 22 percent have attended college but never received a degree or certificate.