Honor society promotes completion pledge signing

Carl Peterson, Clarion Staff Writer

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Statistics show the surest way for anyone to land a job in their chosen field is to finish college and earn a degree or certificate.

That’s exactly what students at Madison Area Technical College are promising to do by signing a pledge to complete their degrees and certifications before leaving community college for transfer or to enter the job market.

On Sept. 6, at 11 a.m. in the lower cafeteria at the Truax campus, students will gather to sign the completion pledge, part of a national community college movement. The event is being hosted by the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Phi Theta Kappa members are serving as the student arm of the Community College Completion Corps, a national education initiative.

Joe Parisi, the newly elected Dane County Executive, will be the keynote speaker who kicks-off this event. The first 50 signers will also receive a special prize from Phi Theta Kappa. The signing wall will remain up the week of Sept. 6, and will periodically make appearances for more signatures and to showcase Madison College’s Commitment to Completion. Madison College’s Metro and Regional campuses will also host their own signing days throughout September.

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.

In October 2010, Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden and a community college professor, hosted the first White House Summit on Community Colleges. President 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 work force.

The President called for community colleges to produce an additional five million degrees and certificates in the next 10 years, part of his goal to restore the United States as the world’s leader in college graduates.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,250 chapters on college campuses in all 50 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 its founding in 1918, with approximately 100,000 students inducted annually.

The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence. 

Phi Theta Kappa’s mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service and fellowship programming.

Phi Theta Kappa is committed to actively encouraging completion of a college credential, an associate degree, specific program or certificate, among community college students. Start today by making your personal commitment to complete and encouraging others to do the same.

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